Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/05/1995 03:45 PM Senate RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                         April 5, 1995                                         
                           3:45 p.m                                            
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Senator Loren Leman, Chairman                                                 
 Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chairman                                            
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Senator Rick Halford                                                          
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                    
 Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                         
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                         
  Board of Game: Walter Sampson & Larry Holmes, Jr.                            
  Board of Fisheries: Trefon Angasan & Dr. John White                          
 SRES - 4/5/95                                                                 
 SJR 20 (COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FISHING QUOTAS) was scheduled but not           
 taken up on this date.                                                        
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Walter Sampson, Governor's Appointee to the Board of Game                     
 P.O. Box 1088, Kotzebue, AK 99752¶265-4100                                    
 Larry Holmes, Jr., Governor's Appointee to the Board of Game                  
 P.O. Box 454, Girdwood, AK 99587¶783-2845                                     
 Patrick Wright                                                                
 Anchorage, AK                                                                 
   POSITION STATEMENT: supports nominees to the Board of Game                  
 Trefon Angasan, Governor's Appointee to the Board of Fisheries                
 P.O. Box 100220, Anchorage, AK 99510¶842-2240                                 
 Dr. John White, Governor's Appointee to the Board of Fisheries                
 P.O. Box 190, Bethel, AK 99559¶543-2926                                       
 Ben Ellis                                                                     
 Kenai River Sportsfishing                                                     
 P.O. Box 1228, Soldotna, AK ¶262-8588                                         
     POSITION STATEMENT: supports nominees to the Board of Fisheries           
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-35, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to               
 order at 3:45 p.m.  The chairman noted that the committee does not            
 have a quorum, so they will begin by taking testimony.  The                   
 chairman called Mr. Sampson to testify first.                                 
 Number 015                                                                    
 WALTER SAMPSON, Appointee to the Board of Game, stated he is                  
 testifying from Anchorage.                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN noted that the committee now has a quorum.                     
 Number 035                                                                    
 MR. SAMPSON reviewed his work and life experiences.                           
 Number 100                                                                    
 MR. SAMPSON stated he sees a need to involve the public.  He has              
 had a lot of contact with people around the state, due to his work            
 experiences, and thinks he understands the needs of residents.                
 Start at the bottom with the planning process, and involve                    
 everyone: doing so will give people respect for the decisions that            
 are made.                                                                     
 Number 150                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asked Mr. Sampson what his philosophy is regarding             
 intensive game management.                                                    
 Number 155                                                                    
 MR. SAMPSON responded he would like to see a public process in                
 place to get an understanding about how the public feels about                
 intensive game management.                                                    
 Number 195                                                                    
 LARRY HOLMES, Appointee to the Board of Game, testifying from                 
 Girdwood, reviewed his work and life experiences.                             
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Mr. Holmes if he has any ideas for solving the           
 wolf-control problem.                                                         
 MR. HOLMES responded that is a really difficult issue.  All                   
 wildlife use needs must be met: tourism, sport hunting, subsistence           
 hunting, commercial, and big-game hunting.  He thinks there are               
 places where we need to physically manage wildlife for consumptive            
 use, and there are areas we need to set aside for wildlife watching           
 and tourism.  There are also places where Mr. Holmes thinks those             
 uses are compatible and not mutually exclusive.  We need to create            
 an atmosphere where everyone can come to the table and work toward            
 a common goal, instead of bouncing back and forth.  Mr. Holmes is             
 not concerned with what out-of-state interests think, but he does             
 think we should work with all in-state interests.                             
 Number 275                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR urged Mr. Holmes to exercise discretion in predator            
 control.  Senator Taylor does not believe public opinion has                  
 anything to do with biological stewardship.  A board which acts               
 only with public consensus has no leadership abilities.                       
 Number 288                                                                    
 MR. HOLMES agreed with Senator Taylor.  But he does think it is the           
 responsibility of the board to incorporate a public process.  The             
 board must then make the final decision.  However, it is difficult            
 to make decisions without the proper information.  The board needs            
 to work with ADF&G in order to get the information it needs.                  
 Number 304                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE asked Mr. Holmes if the board is comfortable with              
 the information it is receiving from ADF&G.                                   
 Number 310                                                                    
 MR. HOLMES responded, "Yes, and no."  There are times when the                
 board receives a good history of information from areas, and times            
 when it doesn't.  From his background in biology and agriculture,             
 he does see areas where the board is not given enough information             
 to make a good decision.                                                      
 Number 335                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE expressed frustration with the lengthy list of                 
 projects, surveys, and data coming from ADF&G, because it seems               
 like a lot of the information simply drops into a black hole.  She            
 asked Mr. Holmes if he has any specific suggestions for making the            
 process more efficient.                                                       
 Number 349                                                                    
 MR. HOLMES thinks regional meetings might make the board more                 
 efficient.  The board is going to discuss this possibility soon.              
 The board is also considering holding these regional meetings at              
 more rural locations.                                                         
 Number 360                                                                    
 SENATOR LINCOLN asked Mr. Holmes if his employer is going to have             
 a problem with the amount of time he is going to have to spend on             
 board duties.                                                                 
 MR. HOLMES responded that his employer has been accepting and                 
 supportive of his appointment.  They have offered to replace Mr.              
 Holmes with a temporary worker while he attends meetings.                     
 Number 385                                                                    
 PATRICK WRIGHT, testifying from Anchorage, stated he supports Mr.             
 Sampson and Mr. Holmes as nominees to the Board of Game.                      
 Number 430                                                                    
 TREFON ANGASAN, Appointee to the Board of Fisheries, testifying               
 from Anchorage, reviewed his work and life experiences.  Mr.                  
 Angasan believes that though the board process is rather                      
 cumbersome, it is fair to the public.                                         
 Number 460                                                                    
 MR. ANGASAN suggested that proposals to the board be pre-approved             
 by local advisory committees.  He believes that board decisions               
 should be based upon the best available information and public                
 Number 490                                                                    
 SENATOR HALFORD asked Mr. Angasan where he would add or subtract              
 $1,000,000 from ADF&G's budget, if he had that ability.                       
 Number 494                                                                    
 MR. ANGASAN replied the board really does not focus on the                    
 department's role, other than as a provider of information.                   
 However, if he could add $1,000,000, he would put it into research:           
 specifically, gsi (genetic stock identification) studies.                     
 Number 509                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR expressed concern over whether the board process is            
 appropriate, and whether there should be concern regarding regional           
 representation on the board.                                                  
 Number 513                                                                    
 MR. ANGASAN responded that the three-year cycles the board goes               
 through can cause a rapid loss of identity.  He stated one of the             
 things he quickly learned was to put on blinders and forget about             
 what is going on in one's region, in order to focus on the agenda             
 before the board.  Regional representation simply provides a broad            
 mix on the board, but does not carry through to the agenda of the             
 board.  If a board member is going to represent the public and the            
 issues fairly, then there won't be any skeletons in the closet.               
 Number 530                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Mr. Angasan if there are any other commercial            
 fishermen on the board.                                                       
 MR. ANGASAN responded that Mr. Jacobsen from Sand Point holds an              
 area M seine permit.  Mr. Angasan is a commercial fisherman from              
 Bristol Bay, and holds a drift salmon permit.  Dr. White holds a              
 permit from the AYK fishery.  Two of the six board members are                
 active commercial fishermen.                                                
 Number 542                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR commented he is troubled by that, and is not willing           
 to turn the board over to a group of "sportsfishermen, advocacy, or           
 geographical representation."  Senator Taylor stated he supports              
 Mr. Angasan's nomination, but doesn't believe there should be two             
 members from Bethel.                                                          
 MR. ANGASAN replied that there are not two representatives from             
 Bethel.  There is a broad mix of members.  Mr. Angasan agrees with            
 Senator Taylor that there should be a broad mix of people on the              
 Number 564                                                                    
 SENATOR LINCOLN asked Mr. Angasan to follow up on his comment                 
 regarding board decisions being based upon the best available                 
 information provided by ADF&G.  Do you think the information the              
 board is receiving is reliable and accurate?  Do you think the                
 sonar systems are effective?                                                  
 Number 573                                                                    
 MR. ANGASAN responded that in many instances, the information                 
 received is quite extensive.  However, some information can be                
 taken out of context, so there is the perception that there is                
 misinformation from the department.  But as a whole, the                      
 information the board receives is good, solid data upon which                 
 decisions can be based.                                                       
 TAPE 95-35, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 595                                                                    
 MR. ANGASAN stated that, in some cases, there is a need for more            
 information.  In regard to sonar systems, there have been some                
 problems with counts.  New technology is being developed, which               
 seems to be an improvement.                                                   
 Number 586                                                                    
 SENATOR HOFFMAN asked Mr. Angasan if he has any ideas regarding               
 halting the outflow of commercial fishing permits to ownership in             
 the lower-forty-eight.                                                        
 Number 582                                                                    
 MR. ANGASAN responded it is unfortunate that when the limited-entry           
 law was passed, there was no non-transferability clause included.             
 In the future, the state may be managing a fishery that is owned by           
 residents of Oregon and Washington.                                           
 SENATOR HOFFMAN asked Mr. Angasan if he sees anything the state can           
 do to try to reverse that trend.                                              
 MR. ANGASAN replied that the CDQ program funded a permit brokering            
 position to help find resident buyers for people wishing to sell              
 SENATOR HALFORD asked Mr. Angasan if he would support legislation             
 that had a delayed effective date of say, ten years, which would              
 repeal the transferability of limited entry permits, thereby                  
 devaluing those permits over time.  No one would lose a permit.             
 Those permits would come back to the state through an                         
 apprenticeship program.                                                       
 MR. ANGASAN responded that is what they advocated in the beginning.           
 He would certainly support such legislation.  He thinks that is a             
 good idea, and there is no reason to have any value on permits.               
 There is no way for a young person in a village to acquire a                  
 permit, even though many young people have a lot of fishing                   
 experience, because of the high value of limited entry permits.               
 SENATOR HALFORD noted that the approximate value of all the limited           
 entry permits is estimated at 1.1 billion dollars.  The fishing               
 industry is paying debt service on 1.1 billion dollars, which                 
 serves no one, except a piece of paper.                                       
 Number 533                                                                    
 DR. JOHN WHITE, Appointee to the Board of Fisheries, testifying               
 from Anchorage, reviewed his work and life experiences.                       
 Number 508                                                                    
 DR. WHITE stated he wants to serve on the board to help salvage one           
 of the best regulatory management systems in the United States.               
 The board is at a crisis juncture, and something has to change.               
 The public has to believe in the process, and there will have to be           
 a change of attitude in board members, the public, and industry.              
 The attitude that has developed is that the board functions as an             
 arbiter.  The next thing that occurs is that problems go to court             
 and are mired down, so that the board becomes mired down in inter-            
 regulatory hearings.  Solutions will have to be found for this                
 problem.  Dr. White does not think increased political pressure or            
 judicial intervention is the solution for this problem.  He thinks            
 the solution lies with the industry and the primary users.  Working           
 groups and task force groups made up of those people can help solve           
 the problems the board is facing.  Dr. White believes the board               
 process is in jeopardy, and thinks the board should operate more              
 like a corporate board.                                                       
 Number 460                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asked Dr. White how he would approach some of the              
 fisheries that are in conflict with one another.                              
 DR. WHITE thinks it is necessary to have good science.  One of the            
 constraints ADF&G has is a fiscal constraint.  But the users also             
 need to agree on the science.  The solution would be to have task             
 forces agree on the science that will be used to make decisions.              
 Number 441                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR expressed concern that the board is burning out                
 qualified members because of the large amount of time required to             
 serve.  He asked Dr. White if there should be regional boards,                
 professional boards, or longer terms for board members.  Should the           
 board be restructured in any way?                                             
 Number 430                                                                    
 DR. WHITE responded that public involvement is both a strength and            
 a weakness of the board process.  One solution to the board's time            
 being used up by extensive public testimony would be to hire a                
 hearing officer to streamline the testimony.  The board also needs            
 good planners and good mediators.                                             
 Number 407                                                                    
 SENATOR LINCOLN asked Dr. White to explain his comment that the               
 board should look for solutions over a five-year time frame.  She             
 thinks there should be longer-term planning than five years.                  
 Number 394                                                                    
 DR. WHITE agreed with Senator Lincoln regarding longer-term                   
 Number 386                                                                    
 SENATOR HALFORD asked Dr. White if he has any idea how we could get           
 user groups to fund studies they need.                                        
 DR. WHITE replied the current problem is that research is done; the           
 research is debunked; then more research is done, etcetera,                   
 etcetera.  It is a never ending cycle.  One possible solution would           
 be to get the contentious parties to agree on the studies to be               
 done, before any research is conducted.                                     
 SENATOR HALFORD asked how that would be done.                                 
 DR. WHITE thinks that should happen in a task-force situation.                
 Number 337                                                                    
 SENATOR HALFORD commented that what we are getting now is advocacy            
 science.  We end up with information that no one believes, whether            
 it is true or not.                                                            
 DR. WHITE sees it as an industry tax, because the industry ends up            
 supporting it.  It is a cost of doing business and is very                    
 Number 318                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE asked Dr. White if the board could be structured               
 differently, so that the board could decide what research will be             
 Number 306                                                                    
 DR. WHITE doesn't know if that would help.  He thinks the users               
 would continue to disagree with the decisions of the board.  He               
 thinks the users, the board, and the department, in a mediated                
 task-force forum, should make the decisions jointly.  The decisions           
 will not be any easier, but it will be a more efficient system, and           
 people will be more willing to accept the decisions that are made,            
 if they are involved in deciding on the studies.                              
 Number 287                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE commented she has seen many examples where that type           
 of forum has not worked.                                                      
 DR. WHITE stated that the success of the involvement of mediators             
 is still contingent upon the parties being able to accept what the            
 mediator has to say.                                                          
 Number 268                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked how we could return to a more politically                
 stable board.                                                                 
 Number 245                                                                    
 DR. WHITE replied that the board is having problems with political            
 and judicial manipulation.  The board has historically functioned             
 well.  Dr. White believes a fisherman's board is very important,              
 and he does not believe in a professional board.  There needs to be           
 planning and ancillary professional expertise.                                
 Number 216                                                                    
 SENATOR PEARCE disagreed.  She thinks they may have different                 
 definitions of "professional board member."  She does not think               
 board members should be active participants in the industry,                  
 because that causes a strong conflict of interest.  She asks why              
 Dr. White thinks his experience makes him a better board member               
 than a full-time, professional board member might be.                         
 Number 195                                                                    
 DR. WHITE doesn't know where Senator Pearce would find these full-            
 time, professional board members.                                             
 SENATOR PEARCE responded they would find these people in the same             
 manner they find the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission members, the           
 Limited Entry Commission members, and the Alaska Public Utilities             
 Commission members, among others.                                             
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN commented he sees dollar signs.                                
 SENATOR LINCOLN stated she did too.                                           
 SENATOR PEARCE asked if the state wasn't spending money on the                
 boards today.                                                                 
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN stated we aren't spending that much money.                     
 SENATOR PEARCE disagreed.                                                     
 Number 140                                                                    
 BEN ELLIS, Executive Director of Kenai River Sportsfishing, stated            
 he supports both nominees to the Board of Fisheries.                          
 Number 114                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asked Mr. Ellis if he was implying by his testimony            
 that Ms. Andrews and Ms. Lyons were unintelligent board members.              
 Is an intelligent approach only an approach with which Mr. Ellis              
 MR. ELLIS replied he did not mean to cast aspersions on the                   
 intelligence of Ms. Andrews or Ms. Lyons.  Mr. Ellis stated also              
 that he was not implying that the only intelligent approach was one           
 with which he agreed: there are issues on which he does not hold              
 the same opinion as Mr. Angasan and Dr. White.                                
 Number 085                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Mr. Ellis what effect he thinks there will be            
 on the Kenai River sportsfishery from the recent proposal [?]                 
 before the subsistence board.                                                 
 MR. ELLIS responded that it could be devastating.                             
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Mr. Ellis if he thinks the state might ever              
 have to place restrictions on sportsfishermen on the Kenai River.             
 MR. ELLIS responded that if it is a matter of conservation,                   
 sportsfishermen would definitely support restrictions.                        
 Number 067                                                                    
 SENATOR HALFORD asked if sportsfishermen would support restrictions           
 as an allocation measure.                                                     
 MR. ELLIS thinks that is a completely different issue.  He doesn't            
 think sportsfishermen would agree to restrictions as an allocation            
 measure, when Cook Inlet commercial fishermen are already taking              
 ninety some odd percent of the resource.                                      
 Number 054                                                                    
 SENATOR HALFORD stated he would agree with Mr. Ellis' position, if            
 we were referring to resident sportsfishermen who were catching               
 their winter freezer load.  But he doesn't support non-residents              
 catching their motorhome load to take Outside and sell.                       
 Number 045                                                                    
 MR. ELLIS stated his organization would be 100% in support of                 
 addressing that issue, because that is something they do not                  
 support, either.                                                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR agreed that is a significant problem which should be           
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN thinks some of that fish does enter the commercial             
 SENATOR HALFORD expressed the opinion that the personal use fishery           
 is for Alaska residents, and that sportsfishing could have                    
 different limits than the personal use fishery.                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR and MR. ELLIS both agreed with Senator Halford.                
 TAPE 95-36, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 020                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN announced that SJR 20 would be held over until                 
 Friday's committee meeting.                                                   
 Number 032                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN adjourned the Senate Resources Committee meeting at            
 5:20 p.m.                                                                     

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