Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/26/1996 03:50 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                         April 26, 1996                                        
                           3:50 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                                                         
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 All members present                                                           
                                                                               
  ALSO IN ATTENDANCE                                                           
                                                                               
 Senator Judy Salo                                                             
 Senator Lyda Green                                                            
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 394(FIN) am                                             
 "An Act authorizing shallow natural gas leasing from sources within           
 3,000 feet of the surface; relating to regulation of natural gas              
 exploration facilities for purposes of preparation of discharge               
 prevention and contingency plans and compliance with financial                
 responsibility requirements; addressing the relationship between              
 shallow natural gas and other natural resources; and adding, in the           
 exemption from obtaining a waste disposal permit for disposal of              
 waste produced from drilling, a reference to shallow natural gas."            
                                                                               
  -- CONFIRMATION HEARINGS ON GOVERNOR'S APPOINTEES TO BOARD OF                
      FISHERIES:  Virgil Umphenour, Dan Coffey & Grant Miller                  
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE   ACTION                                           
                                                                               
 HB 394 - See Resources minutes dated 4/24/96.                                 
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Ella Ring                                                                     
 Box 10-3212                                                                   
 Anchorage, AK 99510                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Dan Coffey                    
                                                                               
 Theo Matthews                                                                 
 Box 69                                                                        
 Kasilof, AK 99610                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmations of Virgil Umphenour &            
      Dan Coffey.  Supports confirmation of Grant                              
      Miller                                                                   
                                                                               
 Mrs. Irene Fandel                                                             
 702 Lawton Drive                                                              
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmations of Virgil Umphenour &           
      Dan Coffey                                                               
                                                                               
 Bill Henry                                                                    
 1081 Duck Pond Road                                                           
 North Pole, AK 99705                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Virgil Umphenour              
                                                                               
 Marvin Hoff                                                                   
 P.O. Box 32                                                                   
 King Cove, AK 99612                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmation of Virgil Umphenour               
                                                                               
 Grant Newton                                                                  
 General Delivery                                                              
 King Cove, AK 99612                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmation of Virgil Umphenour               
                                                                               
 Melanie Gunderson                                                             
 P.O. Box 248                                                                  
 Sand Point, AK 99661                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmation of Virgil Umphenour               
                                                                               
 Myron Naneng                                                                  
 P.O. Box 215                                                                  
 Bethel, AK 99559                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Virgil Umphenour              
      Opposes confirmation of Dan Coffey                                       
                                                                               
 Ted Whip                                                                      
 3333 W. 86th                                                                  
 Anchorage, AK 99502                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmations of Virgil Umphenour and         
      Dan Coffey.  Opposes confirmation of Grant                               
      Miller.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Dan Billman                                                                   
 13740 McDonnell Road                                                          
 Anchorage, AK 99516                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Dan Coffey                    
                                                                               
 Bill Sullivan                                                                 
 P.O. Box 943                                                                  
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmation of Dan Coffey                     
                  Supports confirmation of Grant Miller                        
                                                                               
 Rob Williams                                                                  
 P.O. Box 206                                                                  
 Kasilof, AK 99610                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Grant Miller                  
      Opposes confirmation of Dan Coffey                                       
                                                                               
 John Peckham                                                                  
 P.O. Box 8394                                                                 
 Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Grant Miller                  
      Has concerns with confirmation of Dan Coffey                             
                                                                               
 Phil Cutler                                                                   
 P.O. Box 241847                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99524                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Dan Coffey                    
                                                                               
 Terry Jorgenson                                                               
 P.O. Box 324                                                                  
 Chugiak, AK 99567                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Dan Coffey                    
                                                                               
 Dick Bower                                                                    
 P.O. Box 3662                                                                 
 Soldotna, AK 99669                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmations of Dan Coffey and Grant         
      Miller                                                                   
                                                                               
 Chris Rosauer                                                                 
 3716 Drum Circle                                                              
 Anchorage, AK 99507                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmations of Dan Coffey, Virgil           
          Umphenour and Grant Miller                                           
                                                                               
 Drew Sparlin                                                                  
 37010 Cannery Road                                                            
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Grant Miller                  
              Opposes confirmation of Dan Coffey                               
                                                                               
 Dale Bondurant                                                                
 HC1 Box 1197                                                                  
 Soldotna, AK 99669                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmation of Grant Miller                   
                                                                               
 Don Ostling                                                                   
 P.O. Box 1781                                                                 
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmation of Dan Coffey                     
                                                                               
 Ramon Sparlin                                                                 
 P.O. Box 234                                                                  
 Sand Point, AK 99661                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Grant Miller                  
          Opposes confirmations of Virgil Umphenour and                        
      Dan Coffey                                                               
                                                                               
 Herman Fandel                                                                 
 702 Lawton Drive                                                              
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmations of Virgil Umphenour &           
      Dan Coffey.  Opposes confirmation of Grant                               
      Miller                                                                   
                                                                               
 John Efta                                                                     
 P.O. Box 353                                                                  
 Kenai, AK 9611                                                                
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes confirmation of Dan Coffey                     
                                                                               
 Kevin Barksdale                                                               
 881 Westbury                                                                  
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Dan Coffey                    
                                                                               
 Dick Bishop                                                                   
 P.O. Box 73902                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99707                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Virgil Umphenour, Dan         
      Coffey & Grant Miller                                                    
                                                                               
 Cliff Skillings                                                               
 P.O. Box 23081                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports confirmation of Grant Miller                  
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 96-65, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
         CSHB 394(FIN) am SHALLOW NATURAL GAS LEASING                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to             
 order at 3:50 p.m.  He introduced HB 394 as the first order of                
 business, and invited Representative Scott Ogan and Hans Neidig to            
 the table to explain a proposed amendment.                                    
                                                                               
      REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN , prime sponsor of HB 394, explained th        
 amendment was basically technical in nature.  On page 6, line 2,              
 language was added to clarify that the payments will be annual.  On           
 page 7, line 10, the phrase "exploration and before production" was           
 added in case a lessee penetrates a formation capable of producing            
 oil.                                                                          
                                                                               
  HANS NEIDIG , staff to Representative Ogan, added that the change to         
 page 7, line 25, was simply a drafting change because the language            
 had been poorly drafted.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 080                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  directed attention to a letter dated April 26 from           
 the Department of Natural Resources suggesting that on page 7,                
 lines 21 - 23, the sentence starting with the phrase "consistent              
 with the principle of..." be deleted.   REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  stated           
 he concurred with the suggested change.                                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked for a motion to adopt the following Amendment          
 No. 1:                                                                        
                                                                               
 Amendment No. 1                                                             
                                                                               
 Page 6, line  2:  Following "payment to the state of" insert                  
                   "annual"                                                  
                                                                               
 Page 7, line 10:  Before the word "production" insert "exploration         
       and"                                                                 
                                                                               
 Page 7, line 25:  Sentence should read: "may not be mined or                  
       extracted by the coal lessee from the coal lease                        
       without prior"                                                          
                                                                               
  SENATOR PEARCE  moved the adoption of Amendment No. 1.  Hearing no           
 objection, the Chairman stated the amendment was adopted.                     
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked if there was a motion to adopt Amendment No.           
 2, suggested by DNR to delete the sentence on page 7, lines 21 -              
 23.                                                                           
                                                                               
  SENATOR PEARCE  moved the adoption of Amendment No. 2.  Hearing no           
 objection, the Chairman stated the amendment was adopted.                     
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked for the pleasure of the committee on SCS CSHB
 394(RES).                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR PEARCE  moved SCS CSHB 394(RES), as amended, and the                 
 accompanying fiscal notes be passed out of committee with                     
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 130                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  stated the next order of business would be                   
 confirmation hearings for the Governor's appointees to the Board of           
 Fisheries:  Virgil Umphenour, Fairbanks; Dan Coffey, Anchorage; and           
 Grant Miller, Sitka.                                                          
                                                                               
  VIRGIL UMPHENOUR , addressing the committee via teleconference from          
 Fairbanks, stated he purchased a commercial limited entry fish                
 wheel permit in 1984 and fished on the Tanana River, where in 1985            
 he built a small processing plant.  He then expanded his business             
 to Fairbanks where he processes not only commercial caught fish,              
 but also sport, subsistence or personal use caught fish, as well as           
 game animals and domestic livestock.                                          
                                                                               
 Mr. Umphenour stated he got involved in fish politics a number of             
 years ago serving as the first co-chair for the Yukon River                   
 Drainage Fisheries Association, as well as having served on the               
 Yukon River salmon fishing negotiation's process since 1989.  He              
 has served on the Board of Fisheries for the past two years and was           
 reappointed by the Governor in February 1996.                                 
                                                                               
 There being no questions from committee members,  CHAIRMAN LEMAN              
 thanked Mr. Umphenour for his comments and then invited Dan Coffey            
 to make his presentation.                                                     
                                                                               
  DAN COFFEY , a 49-year resident of Anchorage addressed the committee         
 in Juneau.  He stated he is a practicing attorney specializing in             
 corporate and commercial law.  In the course of his practice over             
 the years, he has represented commercial fishermen, processors, and           
 sportsfishermen.  He noted he has served on the FISH Initiative               
 board, however, when he submitted his name to serve on the Board of           
 Fisheries, he resigned from that board and has no further                     
 connection with it.                                                           
                                                                               
 Mr. Coffey also related that over the time he has lived in Alaska             
 he has been both a commercial and a sports fisherman.  His last               
 involvement in commercial fishing was from 1985 to 1990 when he               
 owned an 80 foot commercial halibut schooner.                                 
                                                                               
 Mr. Coffey said his standards or criteria that he uses when he                
 tries to make decisions relative to fisheries are preservation of             
 the resource, following the sustained principles of Alaska's                  
 Constitution, and his belief that it is a public resource which               
 needs to be shared among Alaskans.  He views that one of the                  
 primary objectives of the Board of Fisheries after it has met                 
 sustained yield and conservation is the allocation decisions which            
 are necessary to be made, and those are the most difficult                    
 decisions that the board faces.  He said he is committed to do his            
 best to make the Board of Fisheries process work, and that he would           
 base his decisions on the best available evidence brought to the              
 board.                                                                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked Mr. Coffey what particular commitments he has          
 made to the Governor.   MR. COFFEY  clarified that the only specific          
 thing the Governor requested of him was to do his best to                     
 strengthen the board process and make the board process work.  They           
 also discussed his involvement on the FISH Initiative and he                  
 informed the Governor of his resignation from that board.                     
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked Mr. Coffey his position on the FISH Initiative         
 now.   MR. COFFEY  responded his answer was in particular addressing          
 the Cook Inlet region.  The Cook Inlet region is governed by what             
 is known as the Upper Cook Inlet Salmon Management Plan, which has            
 been in effect either as a policy or as a regulation since 1977.              
 The board calls that the umbrella plan and underneath that is a               
 series of other fish management plans which are step-down plans.              
 Many step-down plans, which are mandated by the overall umbrella,             
 have never been adopted in the 20 years that the plan has been in             
 effect.  That frustration from the sports fishing point of view was           
 what led to the development of the FISH Initiative.  Since his                
 appointment to the board the board has addressed the issue of the             
 step-down plans and will continue to address them until each                  
 element underneath those has been adopted.  If they do that, then             
 the necessity for an initiative goes away.                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR HOFFMAN  asked if issues are not adequately addressed by the         
 board, would he then support managing the resources in the state by           
 initiative.   MR. COFFEY  replied that his first choice would be by           
 the board, second by the Legislature, and third by initiative.  He            
 reiterated he does not believe the FISH Initiative is necessary if            
 the board addresses the issues.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 427                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR LINCOLN  asked Mr. Coffey if after his resignation from FISH         
 there was any further involvement, because there seems to be a                
 perception that once he made his application to serve on the Board            
 of Fisheries he still continued to be involved with the FISH                  
 Initiative.   MR. COFFEY  clarified that the things he might have             
 done would be things like sending a file to Av Gross, or resigning            
 as the registered agent, acts that disassociated himself with it.             
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked Mr. Coffey if he thought it was fair in the            
 FISH Initiative to take five percent of a statewide total, which              
 includes what are considered as non sports fish like chums and                
 pinks from Prince William Sound and Kodiak, and apply that to an              
 allocation.  He added, as an example, that if you take all the                
 kings and silvers in Cook Inlet, that still wouldn't fulfill a five           
 percent quota of 40 million pinks that return to Kodiak.  He said             
 this doesn't make sense.   MR. COFFEY  answered that the dilemma              
 faced by the people who proposed the initiative is that you can't             
 have a localized statewide initiative.  It was hoped that it would            
 be applied primarily to Cook Inlet, and that's why it is a blunt              
 instrument and the least effective way in which to effect this                
 policy.   CHAIRMAN LEMAN  said he thinks something like this does a           
 tremendous disservice to the management of fisheries because it can           
 be very disruptive.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 475                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR HALFORD  commented that he thinks the initiative is a result         
 of the failure of the board to follow its own mixed stock fishery             
 policy.  He said laws have been passed to say do it and they                  
 haven't done it, so as bad as the initiative is, it is our fault.             
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR  asked Mr. Coffey who first approached him concerning         
 his appointment to the Board of Fisheries.   MR. COFFEY  replied he           
 was first approached by Phil Cutler, Bob Penney and Bruce Knowles,            
 and then later he talked to a fair number of people, including                
 people in the Governor's office, asking them about the job.                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR  asked Mr. Coffey if the Governor indicated to him            
 why he was selecting him over the other people that applied to                
 serve on the Board of Fisheries.   MR. COFFEY  responded that the             
 Governor didn't compare him to other people, but he has known the             
 Governor since his days as an assemblymen on the Anchorage                    
 Assembly.  They have been friends and political associates for a              
 long time, and the people who urged him to run also supported him             
 and made calls to the Governor and his staff.                                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR  asked if it was just happenstance that the people he         
 talked with and met with are people that are directly involved in             
 the FISH Initiative.   MR. COFFEY  replied that clearly the impetus           
 initially came from these people in the sport fishing community,              
 but there are others who are not in sport fishing who support him,            
 who are commercial fishermen.   SENATOR TAYLOR  commented it seems as         
 though his name has been placed here to specifically support or at            
 least advocate for one very narrow issue within the entire                    
 parameters of fish.   MR. COFFEY  stated that if that's what they             
 wanted him to do, he wouldn't have taken the job.  He said the                
 Governor knew his appointment was going to be controversial, but he           
 didn't ask him to perform a specific agenda.  It's real clear what            
 his responsibilities are as a member of the board and he doesn't              
 have any problem with that, nor does he have any problem with what            
 he did ahead of time.  He added what he offers is his energy, his             
 knowledge, his willingness to work hard, and ability to make fair             
 decisions as best he can.                                                     
                                                                               
  TAPE 96-65, SIDE B                                                           
 Number 005                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR  asked Mr. Coffey if he would feel comfortable in             
 making decisions on the board that he felt in his heart were right,           
 but that were very adamantly opposed by the sport fishermen groups            
 who helped secure his appointment.   MR. COFFEY  answered that he             
 just did that with Cook Inlet; he made decisions there that they              
 didn't like.                                                                  
                                                                               
  SENATOR TAYLOR  said he was somewhat disconcerted a few days before          
 when one of Mr. Coffey's supporters came to his office and                    
 basically indicated that if he and others were to oppose Mr.                  
 Coffey's  nomination that he would do everything he could to remove           
 Mr. Miller as an appointee to the board.  He said he felt it was              
 disappointing and he was particularly concerned because the                   
 attitude portrayed was that "he's our boy and you leave him alone."           
  MR. COFFEY  stated he wouldn't condone anything like that, and he            
 added that Grant Miller has worked real hard, and he hopes he gets            
 to serve with him on the board.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 075                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked Mr. Coffey if in his conversations with                
 Governor Knowles, there was discussion on the Area M fisheries                
 management and any of those conflicts.   MR. COFFEY  replied that             
 they did not discuss any specific fishery, except there may have              
 been discussion about the Cook Inlet mediation.                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR HOFFMAN  said the board has made many decisions on                   
 allocation issues on subsistence on the Kenai, and he asked Mr.               
 Coffey if he agrees with those or would he change any those                   
 decisions.   MR. COFFEY  responded that those decisions seem to work          
 well for the local people and the traditions.  He doesn't know if             
 the board ever had a vote on them, but he does support those                  
 concepts.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 110                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR LINCOLN  asked Mr. Coffey to explain his position on                 
 allocation between the mixed stock fisheries and individual river             
 systems -- how does he determine what is fair and equitable to each           
 user group.   MR. COFFEY  answered that generally speaking, many of           
 the state's fisheries are mixed stock.  The problems the board has            
 in making decisions relative to mixed stock fisheries in many areas           
 of Alaska is an absence of good reliable data.  He said in trying             
 to make decisions, his method is to ask a lot of questions and to             
 go to sources that he hopes are reliable.  He also pointed out that           
 by statute, subsistence comes first and so the board follows the              
 law.  The other users are all on the same plain, except when it               
 comes to nonresident users.  His personal view is that because the            
 state has a system that is divided into personal use and                      
 subsistence, and there are people who are not in subsistence areas            
 who have a need, in those areas on his personal decision-making               
 basis, he elevates the personal use concerns higher than a sport              
 use and a commercial use.                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR LINCOLN  stated her only concern is Mr. Coffey being the             
 initiator of the FISH Initiative and then to sit on the Board of              
 Fisheries.   MR. COFFEY  said his advocacy and his involvement in             
 something when he has no public responsibilities and no                       
 constitutional obligations is one thing, and that's that position             
 he was in then.  He emphasized that his decision-making process is            
 going to be based on the facts as they are presented to him.   He             
 added that although he has biases and beliefs and opinions, he is             
 not going in there with a closed mind.                                        
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO  commented that she has always been leery of making the         
 whole allocation area more political, but it seems to her that in             
 the eye of someone, the board is always going to be not doing its             
 job.  She asked Mr. Coffey how he envisions working with the                  
 department, and also whether his commitment to this position is a             
 long term one or one just to deal with a couple of issues that are            
 currently on the table.   MR. COFFEY  responded that he agreed to             
 serve the term, so he will serve the term and work as hard on king            
 crab in the Aleutians as he did in any other issue.  He views the             
 department as primarily an informational gathering and                        
 implementation department.  He has come to meet and know the people           
 who are managing the fisheries, and if he needs something                     
 information wise, he will call them up and ask them for specific              
 information.  He tries to use that information in the decision-               
 making process, and he would hope that the department would then              
 implement the decisions that the board makes so that they're  sort            
 of the board's executive arm in that sense.                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR SALO  stated she is very concerned about the Department of           
 Fish & Game's budget, and she asked if the Legislature should                 
 seriously underfund that department, what he thought the role of              
 the board would be in that situation.   MR. COFFEY  replied that              
 basically there is no direct interface with the Legislature so what           
 the board has done in the short time he has been there is by                  
 resolution.  He added he thought it would be appropriate for the              
 board to make an annual report to the Legislature or have its                 
 chairman or somebody report to an appropriate committee.                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR HALFORD  congratulated Mr. Coffey on his record, his                 
 interest, and his tolerance for this process.  He said he thinks              
 there are few things that are really more frustrating than serving            
 in the Legislature, but he thinks the fish board is probably one of           
 them.                                                                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  stated his main concern doesn't have to do with his          
 capability to do the job so much as what he called the                        
 inappropriate influence of certain advocacy groups and the Office             
 of the Governor on the board process.  He thanked Mr. Coffey for              
 appearing by the committee and responding to its questions.                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  then invited Grant Miller to make his presentation           
 to the committee via the teleconference network from Sitka.                   
                                                                               
  GRANT MILLER  of Sitka stated he has been a self-employed commercial         
 fisherman for 30 years, spending the early parts of his fishing               
 career first on the East Coast and then on the West Coast.  He                
 arrived in Alaska in 1977.  He was previously a troller, but for              
 the past three seasons he has been seining, as well as operating a            
 herring bait pound and participating in the halibut fishery.                  
                                                                               
 Mr. Miller said he has been involved in various groups since coming           
 to Alaska.  He has been involved with Northern Southeast Regional             
 Aquaculture Association (NSRAA) for approximately 10 years and has            
 been their president for eight years.  He has also been involved              
 with United Fishermen of Alaska from which he resigned after                  
 accepting his appointment to the Board of Fisheries.  He also                 
 resigned from the Board of Directors of Seafood Producers Co-op.              
 Basically, those resignations were due to not having enough time to           
 fulfill those duties.  He is currently serving on the Sitka                   
 Committee on Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Mr. Miller said he knew going in that being on the board was going            
 to be a very difficult undertaking, but once he made the commitment           
 to do it, he felt that he had some things to bring to this board              
 that might be of help.  He felt that his experience with NSRAA had            
 given him some experience in reaching resolutions over contentious            
 issues, as well as having a broad background in fisheries of all              
 types. He felt that with this background and the experiences that             
 he had with these various boards, that he had something that he               
 could contribute to the Board of Fisheries process, which he                  
 strongly supports.                                                            
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  said criticism he hears is that the existing board           
 no longer has good representation from the western and central Gulf           
 of Alaska, but it seems to him Mr. Miller's background comes the              
 closest to being acquainted with those fisheries.  He asked Mr.               
 Miller how he sees his interaction with his colleagues in the                 
 sharing of his knowledge and his ability to cover those areas where           
 there is a weakness on the board.   MR. MILLER  pointed out that              
 Trefon Angasan is a Bristol Bay fisherman who does serve on the               
 board and John White has a gillnet permit and fishes a fishery in             
 the Kuskokwim.  He agreed his fishing background does somewhat                
 resemble some of the other fisheries in Western Alaska, and to some           
 extent, he is fairly knowledgeable, or at least has a basic                   
 understanding.  In the three board meetings he has attended, he has           
 learned a lot about these fisheries, and he feels his working                 
 relationship with the rest of the board members has been very good.           
                                                                               
  SENATOR HOFFMAN  noted the Legislature passed a mixed stock policy           
 several years ago, but the board has not implemented or decided on            
 a mixed stock policy.  He asked Mr. Miller what he would do to see            
 that a mixed stock policy would be implemented if he is appointed             
 to the board.   MR. MILLER  responded that he thinks a mixed stock            
 policy needs to be identified.  He said he feels comfortable that             
 the members of this board are quite capable of coming up with a               
 policy that will work for Alaskans.                                           
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-66, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 005                                                                    
  SENATOR HOFFMAN  asked Mr. Miller if he would make a mixed stock             
 policy a priority, as well as any other directives that the                   
 Legislature would pass.   MR. MILLER  responded that considering some         
 of the issues they have to deal with, anything they can use as a              
 tool or a criteria to make these decisions should be a priority, as           
 well as adequate resources of data and information should be a                
 priority.                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR HOFFMAN  asked Mr. Miller his position on subsistence                
 allocation.   MR. MILLER  replied his first priority is to make sure          
 there is sufficient resource for any of these activities, and he              
 would rank subsistence and personal use at the very top.  He said             
 he would also include sport and commercial as very high up on the             
 priority list.  He believes the resources of Alaska should be for             
 Alaskans primarily, and if they are available and if there is an              
 abundance, then he thinks we can choose to share that abundance               
 with nonresidents of this state in an appropriate manner.  He                 
 pointed out that a lot of people use the sport fishing method of              
 providing their homes and family with fish, and he thinks that                
 needs to be considered as well.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 100                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked Mr. Miller if he believes this Administration           
 is doing an adequate job of defending the Alaskan interests in the            
 U.S./Canada salmon controversy, and if not, what else should be               
 done.   MR. MILLER  responded that since he has been on the Board of          
 Fisheries, he hasn't focused as much on that as he might have.                
 However, he said it appears to him from what information he has               
 gathered, mostly from the news media, that they are doing a good              
 job.  He suggested one of the main things that Alaskans might do to           
 improve the situation is conduct in some way our own public                   
 relations campaign.                                                           
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  thanked Mr. Miller for his participation in the              
 hearing, as well as his willingness to serve on the board.  He then           
 opened the meeting to public comment on the appointees to the Board           
 of Fisheries.                                                                 
                                                                               
  ELLA RING , a resident of Wasilla testifying from the Mat-Su LIO,            
 stated she fishes in the northern district, and she urged support             
 for the confirmation of Dan Coffey so that the Northern District              
 can have a strong voice on the Board of Fisheries.                            
                                                                               
  THEO MATTHEWS , Executive Director of the United Cook Inlet Drift            
 Association (UCIDA), testifying from Kenai, stated their primary              
 concern on all of the nominees is on the balance of the Board of              
 Fisheries.  They believe the Governor has failed the state in                 
 creating a balance that people feel is fair and has regional                  
 knowledge as expertise.  If all the nominees are confirmed, six of            
 the seven appointees on the board will be from Anchorage and north            
 of Anchorage.  He said UCIDA does not support the confirmation of             
 Mr. Umphenour, simply on the balance issue, nor do they support Mr.           
 Coffey because of the balance issue, as well as his position with             
 the FISH Initiative.  UCIDA supports the nomination of Grant Miller           
 from Southeast Alaska because of his experience in marine                     
 fisheries.                                                                    
                                                                               
  IRENE FANDEL , a 30-year resident of Alaska testifying from Kenai,           
 stated her strong support for the confirmations of Virgil Umphenour           
 and Dan Coffey.                                                               
                                                                               
  BILL HENRY , a 40-year resident of Alaska testifying from Fairbanks,         
 said he is a retired commercial Upper Yukon fisherman, a                      
 subsistence fisherman in the past, and he now sport fishes.  He               
 stated he represents a large number of friends and relatives who              
 are in full support of Virgil Umphenour's appointment to the Board            
 of Fisheries because he keeps himself well informed and he is able            
 to make honest and intelligent decisions.                                     
                                                                               
  MARVIN HOFF , an Aleut fisherman from King Cove testifying from the          
 Dillingham LIO, stated his strong opposition to the confirmation of           
 Virgil Umphenour.  He said he attended the last Board of Fisheries            
 meeting that concerned Area M, and he had to sit and listen to Mr.            
 Umphenour lie and tell half-truths about that fishery and the                 
 fishery on Norton Sound.  He added that Mr. Umphenour has not and             
 will not ever make a sound, rational or sane decision concerning              
 Area M.                                                                       
                                                                               
  GRANT NEWTON , a resident of King Cove and Acting Chairman of the            
 Alaska Fish & Game Local Advisory Committee testifying from the               
 Dillingham LIO, stated he was speaking as a local commercial                  
 fisherman who is very familiar with the Board of Fisheries process            
 over the past 12 years when dealing with Area M versus other                  
 regions of the state.  He participated in two meetings of the Board           
 of Fisheries this spring regarding Area M and the AYK Region with             
 Dan Coffey, Grant Miller and Virgil Umphenour.  He said Mr. Coffey            
 and Mr. Miller were energetic toward the board process and                    
 objective in their questions of both sides of the issue.  However,            
 although Mr. Umphenour has no conflict of interest by state                   
 regulation, he appears to have his own agenda which deteriorates              
 the board process and the integrity.  He feels Mr. Umphenour does             
 not form objective decisions using the best available information             
 and policies of the state, nor does he objectively address the                
 problems within the AYK Region itself.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 335                                                                    
                                                                               
  MELANIE GUNDERSON  of Sand Point testifying from Dillingham on               
 behalf of the Peninsula Marketing Association, said the June                  
 fishery of Area M was recently up for consideration by the Board of           
 Fisheries, and fortunately, they gained back their ability to fish            
 and to support their families.  This happened despite the                     
 persistent opposition by Virgil Umphenour.  She said they are                 
 opposed to his continued participation on this board, not because             
 of his opposition, but for his lack of understanding of the                   
 statewide commercial fisheries and the many different gear groups.            
                                                                               
  MYRON NANENG , representing the Association of Village Council               
 Presidents and testifying from Bethel, stated their strong support            
 for the confirmation of Virgil Umphenour because he is the only one           
 that speaks loudly for the conservation of the resource.  He spoke            
 against the confirmation of Dan Coffey.                                       
                                                                               
  TED WHIP , a commercial fisherman on the Kenai Peninsula testifying          
 from Anchorage, stated he has been observing the board process                
 regularly since 1982, and this was the first board that ever                  
 addressed the problems in the Northern District fairly.  Although             
 Dan Coffey was not his first choice because he thought he had other           
 interests, he turned out to be a very logical man who is able to              
 see through the smokescreens on both the staff side and other user            
 groups.  He also believes Virgil Umphenour is experienced, fair and           
 decisive.  He said Grant Miller was not at all concerned about what           
 happened in the Northern District.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 406                                                                    
                                                                               
  DAN BILLMAN , Vice President of the Northern District Setnetters of          
 Cook Inlet Association, voiced the association's and his support              
 for the confirmation of Dan Coffey.  He said they are likely one of           
 the few commercial fishing organizations that supported and                   
 continue to support Mr. Coffey.  Their continued support is based             
 on Mr. Coffey's performance at the recent Board of Fisheries                  
 meeting because of his knowledge of the fisheries and how quickly             
 he learned what were issues, what was important, and how to react             
 to them.  He is willing to listen to all sides, is fair and makes             
 equitable decisions based on the information provided.                        
                                                                               
  BILL SULLIVAN  of Kenai testified in opposition to the confirmation          
 of Dan Coffey.  He said by his very background and education, that            
 is his being an attorney, Mr. Coffey will tend to look at all sides           
 of issues brought before the board, but it is by his long time                
 singular alignment on the critical issues that confront the very              
 integrity of the Cook Inlet commercial fisheries that make him at             
 the very least inappropriate for confirmation as a member of the              
 Board of Fisheries.  Not confirming Mr. Coffey will only serve to             
 preserve the integrity of the board process.  He stated support for           
 the confirmation of Grant Miller because he is well qualified to              
 look at both sides of the issue.                                              
                                                                               
  ROB WILLIAMS , testifying from Kenai, voiced support for the                 
 confirmation of Grant Miller because he is a very level-headed                
 person with an extensive fishing background.  He said he also needs           
 to be confirmed so that Southeast Alaska has their place on the               
 board to cover the diversity of the state.  He said he opposes Dan            
 Coffey, and even though he resigned from FISH, the fact remains               
 that he was involved with it and felt that it was a good thing,               
 and, in his opinion, that's the largest deterrent to this Board of            
 Fisheries' process.  He also shows no concern for the problems of             
 the Kenai River area.                                                         
                                                                               
  JOHN PECKHAM , a 21-year resident of Ketchikan and a commercial              
 fisherman testifying from Ketchikan, stated his support for the               
 confirmation of Grant Miller.  He believes Mr. Miller will make an            
 excellent member of the Board of Fisheries because he a reasonable            
 guy, he's a consensus builder, he knows how to compromise, and he             
 doesn't appear to have an agenda.  Although he doesn't know Dan               
 Coffey personally, he is concerned with the perception that he is             
 a strong advocate of one peer group and is a person with an agenda.           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  PHIL CUTLER , testifying from Anchorage on behalf of the Alaska              
 Sport Fishing Association, said at a recent meeting of their                  
 association and discussions on appointees to the Board of                     
 Fisheries, their organization unanimously supported the                       
 confirmation of Dan Coffey.  There was extensive discussion on                
 Virgil Umphenour's appointment, but the meeting ended before a                
 decision was made on whether or not to support his confirmation.              
                                                                               
  TERRY JORGENSON , a commercial fisherman in the Northern District            
 testifying from Anchorage, stated he has attended every Board of              
 Fisheries meeting since 1982, as well as attending the recent                 
 meetings in Anchorage and watching hese potential members to the              
 board.  He feels the board has been democratic in form, and yet,              
 has been unwilling over the years to address many of the mixed                
 stock problems in Cook Inlet.  He noted the Northern District                 
 Setnet Board interviewed Mr. Coffey and they were very concerned              
 about his association with the FISH Initiative, but after                     
 questioning him for two hours, all of them supported his                      
 nomination.  He said he finds Mr. Coffey very easy to communicate             
 with on commercial fishing issues, he asks excellent questions, and           
 he is a real problem solver.  He also feels the other new members             
 to the board did a good job, and the present board is in the best             
 interest of the state.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 547                                                                    
                                                                               
  DICK BOWER , a resident of Soldotna testifying from Anchorage,               
 stated he is a sitting member of the Board of Fisheries.  He said             
 he wouldn't comment on Virgil Umphenour because he believes Mr.               
 Umphenour has a couple of years of experience on the board so that            
 the public and the legislators can judge his performance.  In the             
 case of both Grant Miller and Dan Coffey, he believes that they are           
 both bringing to the board an additional perspective that he finds            
 very valuable as a board member, and he thinks they have very                 
 quickly taken a position as a part of a team that is trying to                
 solve the problems faced by the board.  Grant Miller has given the            
 board a perspective and knowledge of gear groups in that he is very           
 able to relate to the pressing problems that come before the board.           
 Dan Coffey is bringing knowledge of some of the legal and other               
 aspects to the board that he thinks will serve the board very well.           
                                                                               
  CHRIS ROSAUER , a board member of the Northern District Setnetters           
 of Cook Inlet Association and owner of a processing facility in               
 Anchorage, stated his strong support for Dan Coffey, Virgil                   
 Umphenour and Grant Miller.  He said all three of them have done a            
 good job so far and they all deserve a seat on the board.                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
  DREW SPARLIN  of Kenai said that in his 35-years of Alaska                   
 residency, this is the first time he has felt compelled to speak to           
 any committee concerning confirmation of Board of Fish appointees.            
 He voiced his support for the confirmation of Grant Miller because            
 of his participation in several fisheries within the state of                 
 Alaska over the years, and the fact that he will be the only member           
 of the board that participates in any fishery other than salmon.              
 Mr. Miller's vast knowledge within the state fisheries assist him             
 in making unbiased decisions on very important issues.  He voiced             
 his opposition to the confirmation of Dan Coffey because he has a             
 very limited participation level within the community public                  
 service sector concerning Alaska fisheries.  His confirmation will            
 only assist in the destruction of a unique board process that has             
 served this state very well.                                                  
                                                                               
  TAPE 96-66, SIDE B                                                           
 Number 015                                                                    
                                                                               
  DALE BONDURANT  of Soldotna and a 49-year resident of Alaska, stated         
 his strong opposition to some of the questions posed by committee             
 members to Dan Coffey.  He said to question Dan Coffey just because           
 he is a friend of somebody is really dragging this stuff through              
 the dirt.  He also said it is a disgrace for people to get up and             
 say that Grant Miller is for the protection of the resource.                  
                                                                               
  DON OSTLING , a resident of Kenai and a Cook Inlet drift fisherman           
 for 31 years testifying in opposition to the confirmation of Dan              
 Coffey, said he doesn't think a person has to be a rocket scientist           
 to know or figure out what further consequences would occur for the           
 commercial salmon fishery in Upper Cook Inlet if Dan Coffey should            
 be confirmed to the Board of Fisheries.                                       
                                                                               
  RAMON SPARLIN , a commercial fisherman and long-time resident of             
 Alaska testifying from Kenai, voiced his support for the                      
 confirmation of Grant Miller because of his knowledge and                     
 diversification in many fisheries.  He has observed Virgil                    
 Umphenour at Board of Fisheries meetings, and he thinks his only              
 concern is his interest in the AYK Region.  He also said Dan                  
 Coffey's track record strongly indicates his bias in the use and              
 allocation of Alaskan resources, and his appointment would be a               
 stab in the back of the commercial fish interests of Alaska.                  
 Number 125                                                                    
                                                                               
  HERMAN FANDEL , a 30-year Kenai Peninsula resident and owner of a            
 tourism-related business, said tourism in that area depends almost            
 100 percent on sport fishing, and he questioned how many FISH                 
 Initiatives there will have to be for the people of Alaska to get             
 back even a few of their fish from the commercial monopoly that               
 exists.  He said the Board of Fisheries must do something to                  
 curtail or stop the driftnets in Cook Inlet.  He voiced support for           
 the confirmations of Virgil Umphenour and Dan Coffey to the Board             
 of Fisheries, but stated opposition to the confirmation of                    
 commercial fisherman Miller to the board.                                     
                                                                               
  JOHN EFTA  of Kenai stated he does not support the confirmation of           
 Dan Coffey because it appears that he doesn't believe in the                  
 system.  He said Mr. Coffey found it convenient to circumvent the             
 system by, as a last resort, involving himself in the initiative              
 process.  When he got appointed to the Board of Fisheries, he used            
 the initiative as an indirect method as a blackmail tool to get               
 what he wanted achieved at the Board of Fisheries.                            
                                                                               
  KEVIN BARKSDALE , an Anchorage commercial fisherman who fishes in            
 the Northern District of Cook Inlet, stated his support for the               
 confirmation of Dan Coffey.  He feels that Mr. Coffey is fair and             
 that he listened to everybody at the board hearings in February.              
 He brought forth good questions for discussion and made good                  
 decisions.  Based on Mr. Coffey's performance at the Board of                 
 Fisheries, he urged his confirmation.                                         
                                                                               
  DICK BISHOP , addressing the committee in Juneau on behalf of the            
 Alaska Outdoor Council, stated the council recommended to the                 
 Governor the appointments of Virgil Umphenour, Dan Coffey and Grant           
 Miller.  In urging the committee's support for the confirmation of            
 Mr. Umphenour, he said Mr. Umphenour has a long history and                   
 involvement in conservation issues on behalf of the resource, as              
 well as a good rapport with both rural and urban residents on                 
 fisheries and other issues.                                                   
                                                                               
  CLIFF SKILLINGS , Executive Director of Southeast Alaska Seiners,            
 testifying in Juneau, voiced their strong support for the                     
 confirmation of Grant Miller.  They believe Mr. Miller will be able           
 to make fair and impartial decisions for all of the fisheries in              
 the state of Alaska.  Mr. Miller's involvement in the Southeast               
 Alaska commercial fishing industry is an attribute that he can                
 bring to this board which is lacking in southeast representation.             
 While recognizing the need for fisheries management to benefit all            
 users, Mr. Miller also understands the socioeconomic importance of            
 the commercial fisheries both to the southeast region and also to             
 those other regions statewide that depend upon productive                     
 commercial resources.                                                         
                                                                               
 There being no further testimony, CHAIRMAN LEMAN closed the                   
 confirmation hearings and adjourned the meeting at 6:30 p.m.                  
                                                                               

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