Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/11/2022 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
03:34:56 PM Start
03:35:40 PM HB54
04:37:04 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 11, 2022                                                                                         
                           3:34 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Peter Micciche, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
Senator Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Joshua Revak, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 54(FIN)                                                                                 
"An Act establishing  the Alaska Invasive Species  Council in the                                                               
Department of Fish  and Game; relating to  management of invasive                                                               
species;  relating to  invasive  species  management decals;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB  54                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INVASIVE SPECIES MANAGEMENT                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): FISHERIES                                                                                                           
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/15/21                                                                               
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       RES, FSH                                                                                               
02/24/21       (H)       RES REFERRAL MOVED TO AFTER FSH                                                                        
02/24/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
03/11/21       (H)       FSH AT 11:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/11/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/11/21       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/12/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
03/18/21       (H)       FSH AT 11:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/18/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/18/21       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/25/21       (H)       FSH AT 10:30 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/25/21       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/30/21       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/30/21       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
04/01/21       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
04/01/21       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
04/06/21       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
04/06/21       (H)       Moved CSHB 54(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                    
04/06/21       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
04/07/21       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) 7DP                                                                                    
04/07/21       (H)       DP:   KREISS-TOMKINS,   ORTIZ,   MCCABE,                                                               
                         VANCE, STORY, STUTES, TARR                                                                             
04/16/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/16/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/16/21       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/21/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/21/21       (H)       Moved CSHB 54(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                    
04/21/21       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/22/21       (H)       RES RPT CS(FSH) 3DP 3DNP 3NR                                                                           
04/22/21       (H)       DP: SCHRAGE, HANNAN, FIELDS                                                                            
04/22/21       (H)       DNP: GILLHAM, RAUSCHER, CRONK                                                                          
04/22/21       (H)       NR: MCKAY, HOPKINS, PATKOTAK                                                                           
04/22/21       (H)       FIN REFERRAL ADDED AFTER RES                                                                           
04/22/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
05/11/21       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM ADAMS 519                                                                               
05/11/21       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
05/18/21       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM ADAMS 519                                                                               
05/18/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/18/21       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
02/02/22       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM ADAMS 519                                                                               
02/02/22       (H)       Moved CSHB 54(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                    
02/02/22       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
02/04/22       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) 4DP 3NR                                                                                
02/04/22       (H)       DP: ORTIZ, JOSEPHSON, WOOL, FOSTER                                                                     
02/04/22       (H)       NR: EDGMON, THOMPSON, MERRICK                                                                          
02/17/22       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/17/22       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 54(FIN)                                                                                  
02/22/22       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/22       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/11/22       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GERAN TARR                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented CSHB 54(FIN)  as Chair of the House                                                             
Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                                 
THATCHER BROUWER, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented an abbreviated  sectional analysis                                                             
of HB 54.                                                                                                                       
TIM STALLARD, Owner                                                                                                             
Alien Species Control LLC                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the slideshow "Alaskans  Depend on                                                             
our Resources for Food, Culture, Fun, and Making a Living."                                                                     
DANIELLE VERNA, Vice Chair                                                                                                      
Alaska Invasive Species Partnership (AISP); and Project Manager                                                                 
Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (RCAC)                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  a  PowerPoint  on   the  Alaska                                                             
Invasive Species Partnership.                                                                                                   
DOUG VINCENT-LANG, Commissioner                                                                                                 
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: During  the hearing on HB  54, stated support                                                             
for the  idea of a task  force to evaluate the  issue of invasive                                                               
species instead  of starting by  developing regulations  that may                                                               
or may not have consensus moving forward.                                                                                       
MATTHEW  VAN   DAELE,  Natural  Resources  Director   and  Tribal                                                               
Biologist for the Sun'aq Tribe                                                                                                  
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 54.                                                                            
PAUL SHADURA, Representing Self                                                                                                 
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 54.                                                                            
DAVID MARTIN, Representing Self                                                                                                 
Clam Gulch, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 54.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:34:56 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR   MICCICHE  called  the  Senate   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:34  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Kiehl, Stevens,  Kawasaki,  and Vice  Chair                                                               
               HB  54-INVASIVE SPECIES MANAGEMENT                                                                           
3:35:40 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE  announced the consideration of  CS FOR HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.  54(FIN)  "An  Act  establishing  the  Alaska  Invasive                                                               
Species Council in  the Department of Fish and  Game; relating to                                                               
management  of invasive  species;  relating  to invasive  species                                                               
management decals; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
3:36:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GERAN  TARR,  Alaska State  Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, presented  CSHB 54(FIN)  on behalf  of the  House Special                                                               
Committee  on   Fisheries.  She  stated  that   invasive  species                                                               
management  is a  statewide issue.  The committee  began work  on                                                               
this legislation in  2017 when it became apparent  that there was                                                               
a  need to  mobilize a  rapid response  to control  the explosive                                                               
growth of the invasive plant,  elodea. She thanked the Department                                                               
of   Environmental   Conservation  for   implementing   treatment                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  stated  that  it  became  apparent  that  a                                                               
comprehensive,  statewide,  multi-year, forward-looking  approach                                                               
was required  to combat  the growing  threat of  various invasive                                                               
species. The  state of Washington's  successful model  to control                                                               
invasive  species  was  referenced   to  develop  an  eradication                                                               
strategy for Alaska. Washington's  success hinged, in large part,                                                               
on  including  an  array  of  stakeholders  and  a  multitude  of                                                               
jurisdictions  to control  all vectors  from  ballast water  from                                                               
shipping to the  people coming to Alaska to the  elodea that came                                                               
from fish  tanks. The  Alaska Invasive  Species Council  seeks to                                                               
include local  government, state government,  federal government,                                                               
tribal  partners, the  university,  and  private businesses.  The                                                               
private  sector  includes  float plane  operators,  people  doing                                                               
excavation work, and mineral  development workers. The Department                                                               
of Transportation and  Public Facilities has switched  to the use                                                               
of native seed produced in-state  to repropagate disrupted areas.                                                               
This model works by bringing  all the stakeholders together in an                                                               
official way  to come up with  a plan for the  most effective and                                                               
efficient use of all the available resources.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR relayed that estimates  in 2012 were that the                                                               
state was spending  about $6 million per year  to manage invasive                                                               
species. The intention is to keep  that number from growing as it                                                               
has in  other states  where invasive  species have  burgeoned. In                                                               
some  places in  the  Lower  48 invasive  species  such as  zebra                                                               
mussels  and  Quagga  Mussels   have  disrupted  municipal  water                                                               
systems  to the  point that  they  were closed.  In the  Columbia                                                               
River Basin  spending to  control those mussels  is close  to $30                                                               
million per year. These problems  can get very large very quickly                                                               
and management becomes very costly.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  said  the fisheries  committee  has  worked                                                               
closely  with  the  many  stakeholders to  develop  the  list  of                                                               
entities  that  would sit  on  the  council. The  committee  also                                                               
explored  the opportunities  for  funding to  start  the work  on                                                               
invasive species  control. Some of those  opportunities may still                                                               
exist, but the only revenue stream  in the current version of the                                                               
bill would come from the  invasive species management decals that                                                               
ADF&G  would  produce  and  make  available  for  the  public  to                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  advised that  the fisheries  committee added                                                               
the  legislative intent  language  to clarify  that  the work  on                                                               
invasive species  management will be  paid for without  using any                                                               
unrestricted  general  fund (UGF)  funds.  She  noted that  ADF&G                                                               
previously testified in support  of the legislation and confirmed                                                               
that  the bill  would not  impact the  general fund.  She further                                                               
noted that the House Finance  Committee added a seven year sunset                                                               
for the council, which the fisheries committee supported.                                                                       
3:44:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked who serves on  the council and how often it                                                               
will meet.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE TARR answered that  the council has representation                                                               
from state government, ex officio  participation from the federal                                                               
government, and private industry representation that includes:                                                                  
   • A person engaged in commercial agriculture, horticulture or                                                                
   • A person engaged in commercial aquaculture or mariculture;                                                                 
   • A person engaged in the tourism industry                                                                                   
   • A person who owns a seaplane, is employed as a seaplane                                                                    
     pilot, or is otherwise knowledgeable about seaplanes;                                                                      
The council will also have:                                                                                                     
    • A representative from an Alaska tribal entity;                                                                            
    • A representative from an Alaska Native corporation;                                                                       
    • Representation from local governments; and                                                                                
    • Representation from research entities.                                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TARR  stated that the  people who are  working on                                                               
 this through  the Alaska  Invasive Species Partnership  are very                                                               
 dedicated and the  testimony today will highlight  the good work                                                               
 that  is underway.  The  motivation for  the  legislation is  to                                                               
 coordinate that work  and provide an official  avenue for making                                                               
 recommendations to the legislature.                                                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE TARR advised that  appointing the council members                                                               
 and the setting  the number of meetings required  in the initial                                                               
 year  was   addressed  in  Section  5.   The  appointments  have                                                               
 staggered terms,  the council  is required  to hold  its initial                                                               
 meeting within 90 days of the  appointments, and it must meet at                                                               
 least four times  in the 12 months following  the appointment of                                                               
 the members.  During this  time the  council will  establish the                                                               
 bylaws and the schedule for future meetings.                                                                                   
3:46:48 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE asked Mr. Brower for an abbreviated                                                                         
sectional analysis.                                                                                                             
3:47:02 PM                                                                                                                    
THATCHER BROUWER, Staff, Representative  Geran Tarr, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, presented an  abbreviated sectional                                                               
analysis  of HB  54,  highlighting that  Sec.  16.20.810 in  bill                                                               
Section  2 was  the most  important part  of the  bill. The  full                                                               
sectional read as follows:                                                                                                      
[Original punctuation provided.]                                                                                                
                          Section One                                                                                         
     Adds a new section to  uncodified law that states it is                                                                    
     the intent  of the  legislature that the  Department of                                                                    
     Fish  and Game  does  not use  money  from the  state's                                                                    
     general  fund to  support the  Alaska Invasive  Species                                                                    
     Council, and instead finds other  sources of funding to                                                                    
     support the council.                                                                                                       
                          Section Two                                                                                         
     Section  16.20.800  establishes  the  invasive  species                                                                  
     management decals.  The decals will be  produced by the                                                                    
     Department  of   Fish  and   Game  annually   and  made                                                                    
     available for  sale to  the public for  a $20  fee. The                                                                    
     department  will work  in conjunction  with the  Alaska                                                                    
     Invasive  Species Council  described in  Sec. 16.20.810                                                                  
     to design  and produce the decals.  The legislature may                                                                    
     then  appropriate the  proceeds  from the  sale of  the                                                                    
     decals  to  further  produce  the   decals  or  to  the                                                                    
     invasive  species  response   fund  described  in  Sec.                                                                  
     16.20.820, to  carry out the  work of  invasive species                                                                  
     Section  16.20.810  establishes   the  Alaska  Invasive                                                                  
     Species  Council in  the Department  of Fish  and Game.                                                                    
     The council  will be comprised of  representatives from                                                                    
     the Departments  of Fish  and Game,  Natural Resources,                                                                    
     Environmental   Conservation  and   Transportation  and                                                                    
     Public Facilities.  Furthermore, the council  will have                                                                    
     members from  stakeholder organizations  and industries                                                                    
     appointed by the governor to  three-year terms, as well                                                                    
     as  representatives  from  federal agencies  that  deal                                                                    
     with invasive species.                                                                                                     
     Additionally,    Section    16.20.810   outlines    the                                                                  
     responsibilities of the  council. This section requires                                                                    
     that  the  council   be  responsible  for  facilitating                                                                    
     cooperation  between  state,   federal,  tribal,  local                                                                    
     agencies,  and  nongovernmental  organizations  in  the                                                                    
     management  invasive  species.   The  council  will  be                                                                    
     tasked   with   recommending  coordinated   interagency                                                                    
     strategies and  policies related  to the  management of                                                                    
     invasive  species.   The  council  will   also  provide                                                                    
     guidance on how to  prioritize the response to invasive                                                                    
     species and  how to  best use  funds from  the invasive                                                                    
     species  response fund.  Lastly,  the  council will  be                                                                    
     responsible  for selecting  designers  of the  invasive                                                                    
     species control decals and  approving and promoting the                                                                    
     Furthermore,  Section  16.20.810 provides  guidance  on                                                                  
     council  meetings and  deliverables.  The council  will                                                                    
     meet at least once a year,  and by January 15th of each                                                                    
     odd-numbered  year, the  council shall  produce a  plan                                                                    
     that addresses the economic  impact of invasive species                                                                    
     and  recommends legislation  and  funding to  implement                                                                    
     the council's priorities.                                                                                                  
     Section  16.20.820  establishes   an  invasive  species                                                                  
     response  fund  in  the general  fund  and  allows  the                                                                    
     department  to use  the funds  to prevent,  control, or                                                                    
     eradicate invasive species.                                                                                                
     Section   16.20.850   defines  commissioner,   council,                                                                  
     department,  invasive species,  management of  invasive                                                                    
     species and non-native species.                                                                                            
                         Section Three                                                                                        
     Section 37.05.146  adds the invasive species  decal fee                                                                  
     to the list of separately accounted program receipts.                                                                      
                          Section Four                                                                                        
     Adds a  July 1,  2029 sunset date  all the  sections in                                                                    
     the bill.                                                                                                                  
                          Section Five                                                                                        
     Gives   direction  to   the   governor  regarding   the                                                                    
     appointment of  the members, chair,  as well  as timing                                                                    
     and number of meetings in the initial year.                                                                                
                          Section Six                                                                                         
     Establishes an immediate effective date.                                                                                   
3:50:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS asked  if there  had been  any discussion  about                                                               
having ex officio members from  the legislature, appointed by the                                                               
Senate President and Speaker of the House, serve on the council.                                                                
3:50:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR said she was amenable  to that idea if it was                                                               
something the  committee wanted to  consider. She  explained that                                                               
her  reasoning  to  have  the council  work  independent  of  the                                                               
legislature   was  because   of  the   potential  transition   of                                                               
membership in the legislature.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  STEVENS offered  his reasoning  that seven  years was  a                                                               
long time  for the  legislature to not  know what  was happening,                                                               
other than the annual report.                                                                                                   
3:51:09 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE asked if purchase of a decal was voluntary.                                                                 
MR. BROUWER answered yes; anybody  who might want to show support                                                               
for better invasive  species management would have  the option of                                                               
purchasing  a decal  through the  Alaska Department  of Fish  and                                                               
Game (ADF&G).                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR said the thought  is that the decals could be                                                               
added to  the department's portal for  fishing license purchases.                                                               
Several stakeholders  also indicated interest in  helping to sell                                                               
the decals.                                                                                                                     
3:52:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked whether zebra mussels were edible.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR replied  they arent   eaten because  they're                                                               
extremely  small.  They're  problematic because  they  grow  very                                                               
rapidly and will choke water lines.                                                                                             
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE  noted that she discussed the  cost to manage                                                               
invasive species,  but not the less  quantifiable cost associated                                                               
with  the inconvenience.  He relayed  that many  Lower 48  states                                                               
have  set up  roadblocks to  screen for  invasive species  and if                                                               
anything is found the trip could be over.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE TARR agreed that there  was reason to be concerned                                                               
about  the watercraft  coming  to Alaska.  She  relayed that  the                                                               
committee was likely to hear  testimony today about what is being                                                               
done on Alaska's borders.                                                                                                       
3:53:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked  what  methods   are  used  to  eradicate                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TARR answered  that it depends on  the species but                                                               
sometimes  it is  a matter  of trial  and error.  She worked  for                                                               
years in Anchorage  to eradicate the European  Bird Cherry, first                                                               
by digging the  plant and now with a  chemical treatment followed                                                               
by   mechanical  removal.   The  waterweed   Elodea  is   treated                                                               
chemically but  it was important  to learn what  chemical doesn't                                                               
kill other  species. One method  of eradicating invasive  pike is                                                               
to catch  the fish. Border  check stations are also  an important                                                               
control  measure. For  example, all  watercraft entering  Montana                                                               
must go  through an inspection  station. Several summers  ago she                                                               
noticed  what  looked  like  an   oversized  Brillo  pad  at  the                                                               
trailhead at Crow Creek with a  sign asking everyone to clean the                                                               
soles of their shoes before they started on the trail.                                                                          
3:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
3:57:27 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE reconvened the  meeting and turned to invited                                                               
testimony on HB 54.                                                                                                             
3:58:00 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM  STALLARD,  Owner,  Alien  Species  Control  LLC,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  presented   the  PowerPoint  "Alaskans  Depend   on  our                                                               
Resources  for  Food, Culture,  Fun,  and  Making a  Living."  He                                                               
advised that  he also chairs  the Anchorage  Cooperative Invasive                                                               
Species Management Area. It is an  informal group that gets a lot                                                               
done without any actual authority. (                                                                                            
MR. STALLARD  began the presentation by  reviewing the definition                                                               
of invasive species,  which means an alien  or non-native species                                                               
that if introduced  is likely to cause  economic or environmental                                                               
harm  or harm  to  human or  animal health.  The  hallmark of  an                                                               
invasive  species  is that  it  arrives  in  a natural  area  and                                                               
quickly  proliferates  to  the point  that  it  displaces  native                                                               
species.  Because  Alaska  is  so  deeply  tied  to  its  natural                                                               
resources,  the  introduction  of  an  invasive  species  quickly                                                               
impacts Alaskans and their economic values.                                                                                     
MR.  STALLARD  turned  to  the  images on  slide  4  of  invasive                                                               
chokecherries that are also called  invasive European bird cherry                                                               
trees or  mayday trees. He  relayed that they had  been spreading                                                               
out of  control in  Anchorage along salmon  streams and  into the                                                               
riparian  forests. In  addition  to Anchorage,  this invasive  is                                                               
spreading  and causing  concern in  Fairbanks, Eielson  Air Force                                                               
Base, Juneau, Homer  and other areas on  the peninsula, Talkeetna                                                               
and other parts  of the MatSu Valley. Evidence that  the state is                                                               
not doing very well to address  invasive species is the fact that                                                               
the Department  of Natural Resources'  (DNR) list of  plants that                                                               
cannot  be sold  in the  state  does not  include these  invasive                                                               
chokecherry  trees.  They  can  be sold  anywhere  in  the  state                                                               
outside  the Municipality  of Anchorage.  Requests over  the last                                                               
ten  years for  DNR to  update its  noxious weed  list have  gone                                                               
4:01:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STALLARD said  he likes the metaphor that Alaska  is facing a                                                               
biological  wildfire  because  Alaskans  are  familiar  with  the                                                               
damage  cause by  wildfires. Similar  to wildfires,  the invasive                                                               
species curve  on slide  5 illustrates that  the best  control is                                                               
prevention. Quick  detection and  a coordinated response  are the                                                               
next lines of defense. This  will make management of the invasive                                                               
less expensive and have fewer impacts on the natural resources                                                                  
4:02:16 PM.                                                                                                                   
MR.  STALLARD turned  to the  infestation  curve on  slide 6  and                                                               
characterized  the state's  approach  to  address the  biological                                                               
wildfire  it is  facing  as  a very  good  "bond  to your  bucket                                                               
brigade."  There  are  sophisticated  and  successful  management                                                               
plans  in some  places. For  example, programs  to manage  Elodea                                                               
have been very successful on  the Kenai Peninsula, Fairbanks, the                                                               
Interior region  and Anchorage; efforts  to manage  Northern Pike                                                               
have  also  been  successful.  However,  the  state  has  yet  to                                                               
organize  in  a  well-structured  format  such  as  the  incident                                                               
command  system (ICS)  that coordinates  federal agencies,  state                                                               
and local agencies, and private  interests to effectively respond                                                               
to fire and other emergencies.  The Invasive Species Council that                                                               
is outlined  in HB  54 could provide  the needed  organization to                                                               
manage invasive species in the state.                                                                                           
MR.  STALLARD   moved  to  slide   7  that  showcases   a  native                                                               
Salmonberry  flower  on  the  cover   of  Verna  Pratt's  Alaskan                                                               
Wildflower  guide  alongside an  image  of  spotted knotweed  and                                                               
sweet white clover that is  proliferating along Turnagain Arm. He                                                               
said  it's  ironic  that  monocultures   of  invasive  weeds  are                                                               
spreading out  from the population  centers of  Anchorage, MatSu,                                                               
and Fairbanks.  The Kenai Peninsula Cooperative  Invasive Species                                                               
Management (KS-CISMA) area is an  exception that shows that these                                                               
plants can  be monitored  effectively. The  problem is  that this                                                               
isn't being done in other areas of the state.                                                                                   
MR.  STALLARD advanced  to slide  8  that is  an illustration  of                                                               
Fairbanks drowning  in bird vetch.  He relayed that each  time he                                                               
returns  to Fairbanks  he's dismayed  to see  that this  invasive                                                               
weed  is still  spreading. He  displayed  slide 9  and noted  the                                                               
earlier  references   to  the  invasive  waterweed   Elodea  that                                                               
threatens  salmon spawning  habitat  throughout  the state.  [The                                                               
caption above the pictures is  taken from the Institute of Social                                                               
and Economic  Research (ISER) report  that says this  plant could                                                               
cost the salmon industry $159 million a year.]                                                                                  
4:04:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STALLARD displayed  the picture on slide  10 that illustrates                                                               
the threat that  Northern Pike represent to  spawning salmon runs                                                               
in Southcentral Alaska.  He highlighted that there  had been very                                                               
successful control  projects on  the Kenai  Peninsula, Anchorage,                                                               
and   MatSu  areas.   Similarly,  the   Crayfish/Crawfish/Crawdad                                                               
"Wanted" poster depicted on slide  11 highlights the danger these                                                               
nonnative fresh water crustaceans present  in the Kodiak area. In                                                               
Juneau  the aggressive  and hard  to control  knotweed is  a huge                                                               
threat  to  waterways and  infrastructure.  The  roots can  crack                                                               
concrete and has destroyed home foundations.                                                                                    
4:05:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  STALLARD urged  the  committee  and others  to  look at  the                                                               
biological threats the  state is facing and consider  what can be                                                               
done to better  protect natural resources going  forward. He gave                                                               
credit  to the  successful management  measures he  had mentioned                                                               
and  stressed  the  importance of  a  more  organized  management                                                               
approach  such  as  the  Alaska   Invasive  Species  Council.  He                                                               
acknowledged the need for commissioner-level  authority to tie in                                                               
federal agencies and hopefully federal resources and support.                                                                   
He noted  that the  House passed  HB 54  33:2 and  expressed hope                                                               
that it would pass the Senate this session.                                                                                     
4:07:18 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  MICCICHE stated  appreciation for  the work  that had                                                               
been  done to  manage  invasive species  and talked  specifically                                                               
about the threat Northern Pike  presents to salmon species on the                                                               
Kenai Peninsula. He agreed that early intervention was key.                                                                     
4:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS commented on the  explosive expansion of crayfish                                                               
populations in  Buskin Lake and  River and surmised  that someone                                                               
must have  introduced them  years ago thinking  they'd be  a good                                                               
food source. He  noted that beaver were introduced  the same way.                                                               
He  asked  if people  who  introduce  invasive species  could  be                                                               
MR.  STALLARD   said  he  understands  those   introductions  are                                                               
illegal, but ADF&G could answer definitively.                                                                                   
4:09:35 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE   CHAIR  MICCICHE   asked  Daniella   Verna  to   begin  her                                                               
4:09:53 PM                                                                                                                    
DANIELLE VERNA,  Vice Chair  Alaska Invasive  Species Partnership                                                               
(AISP);  and  Project  Manager,  Prince  William  Sound  Regional                                                               
Citizens'  Advisory  Council  (RCAC), Anchorage,  Alaska,  stated                                                               
that  today she  would  share what  the  Alaska Invasive  Species                                                               
Partnership is,  what it does,  and why they believe  an Invasive                                                               
Species  Council  will  strengthen  the  ability  to  respond  to                                                               
invasive species throughout the state.                                                                                          
MS. VERNA explained that the  partnership is an informal group of                                                               
individuals  from  agencies   and  organizations  statewide  that                                                               
collectively  recognize different  ways Alaska  is vulnerable  to                                                               
invasive species.  The partnership's goal is  to foster statewide                                                               
coordination,   cooperation,   and    action   to   prevent   the                                                               
introduction of  new invasive species  and reduce the  effects of                                                               
existing invasive  species. To achieve its  goal, the partnership                                                               
provides support  to engaged  stakeholders, including  the public                                                               
and members of the partnership  that are engaged in on-the-ground                                                               
management.  It  is  a  very  collaborative  effort  across  land                                                               
ownership and jurisdictions. She relayed  that the AKISP board is                                                               
comprised  of 11  volunteers  that  represent nonprofit,  Native,                                                               
state and federal entities.                                                                                                     
MS.  VERNA  said  the  board  and partnership  has  gaps  in  its                                                               
representation.  They recognize  that one  of the  values of  the                                                               
Invasive Species  Council is  that it would  fill those  gaps and                                                               
thereby improve  collaboration and a coordinated  response across                                                               
Alaska's dynamic landscape.                                                                                                     
4:13:00 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR  MICCICHE  asked  about   the  decision  process  for                                                               
selecting the representation on  the board versus representatives                                                               
who were working for on-the-ground solutions.                                                                                   
MS. VERNA answered that many  of the organizations represented on                                                               
the board  were engaged in  on-the-ground management.  A decision                                                               
about board  membership is made  during the annual  workshop. The                                                               
full membership votes on the  members that were selected to serve                                                               
on the board  for that year. Selections are  based on background,                                                               
organization, and  experience. She described board  membership as                                                               
very partnership driven.                                                                                                        
4:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. VERNA advanced  to slide 3 and reviewed  AKISP's six standing                                                               
committees. They  focus on  issues that  have been  identified by                                                               
either the membership  or the board of directors.  She noted that                                                               
Elodea  and   northern  pike  were  discussed   in  the  previous                                                               
AKISP STANDING COMMITTEES                                                                                                     
   • Elodea                                                                                                                     
   • Northern Pike                                                                                                              
   • Marine that focuses on bringing together members from                                                                      
     coastal communities that monitor species such as European                                                                  
     green crab and invasive tunicates.                                                                                         
   • Governmental Relations works on topics such as the annual                                                                  
     proclamation recognizing Alaska Invasive Species Awareness                                                                 
     Week each June and opportunities to engage with elected                                                                    
     officials in communities.                                                                                                  
   • Workshop Planning hosts an annual conference that is open                                                                  
     to the public.                                                                                                             
   • Outreach & Education has the mission to engage the public                                                                  
     in invasive species issues.                                                                                                
MS. VERNA relayed that the  partnership's vision statement is for                                                               
Alaska's environmental,  cultural, and  economic resources  to be                                                               
free  from the  impacts  of invasive  species. Prevention,  early                                                               
detection, and rapid response is  emphasized. Members work across                                                               
ecosystems   to  survey   for   new   arrivals,  manage   current                                                               
infestations,  and conduct  research on  the effects  of invasive                                                               
species. The  partnership currently is  working on the  issues of                                                               
northern  pike,  zebra mussels,  and  Elodea.  Northern pike  are                                                               
native north of  the Alaska Range, but their  introduction to the                                                               
MatSu and  Kenai Peninsula is damaging  salmon populations. Zebra                                                               
mussels were  detected last year  and elicited a  strong response                                                               
from  partnership  members  because they  present  a  substantial                                                               
threat  to fresh  water  systems. Elodea  currently  is the  only                                                               
aquatic invasive plant and efforts  to control it are widespread.                                                               
She  noted that  a lot  of work  was also  being done  to control                                                               
invasive plants, pests, and pathogens.                                                                                          
4:17:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. VERNA highlighted  that the European green  crab currently is                                                               
not in Alaska,  but it is well established on  the West Coast and                                                               
in British Columbia  so it is within 100 miles  of communities in                                                               
Southeast. The photos on slide  8 depict partners in Kachemak Bay                                                               
and  Prince  William Sound  doing  monitoring  so these  invasive                                                               
crabs are detected early if they do arrive.                                                                                     
4:18:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. VERNA advanced to slide 9  to discuss House Bill 54. It would                                                               
create an Alaska Invasive Species  Council that would serve in an                                                               
advisory role for  the management of invasive  species. This will                                                               
provide  consistent  statewide priorities,  efficient  management                                                               
approaches,  and  common  messaging,  and  encourage  coordinated                                                               
interagency strategies. This will  break the organizational silos                                                               
and provide  a platform  for organizations to  unite and  look at                                                               
the big picture, identify gaps,  and share successful approaches.                                                               
HB 54  would also establish  a fund  through the sale  of decals,                                                               
the purchase of which is  optional. Importantly, HB 54 requires a                                                               
five-year strategic  plan to address invasive  species in Alaska.                                                               
It would  identify the economic effects  and establish priorities                                                               
for   management.  With   the  implementation   of  HB   54,  the                                                               
partnership  sees  opportunities  for  advanced  coordination  to                                                               
address the active and evolving  threat of invasive species. Much                                                               
like oil spills and catastrophic  wildfires, she said an ounce of                                                               
prevention is  worth a pound  of cure.  This is evidenced  by the                                                               
experiences in other states where management is very costly.                                                                    
4:20:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. VERNA advanced to slide  10 and conveyed that the partnership                                                               
provides platforms  for sharing  information through a  number of                                                               
different  venues,  including  monthly  membership  meetings,  an                                                               
active  Facebook   page  through   the  Outreach   and  Education                                                               
Committee,  the website  alaskainvasives.org, a  designated email                                                               
address  to reach  board members,  and the  annual workshop  that                                                               
rotates between Anchorage, Fairbanks,  and an outlying community.                                                               
This  year it  will be  held in  Anchorage on  November 1-3.  She                                                               
welcomed anyone who was interested  in invasive species in Alaska                                                               
to become a member of the partnership.                                                                                          
She thanked the committee for considering the bill.                                                                             
VICE CHAIR  MICCICHE thanked Ms.  Verna for the  presentation. He                                                               
asked Commissioner Vincent-Lang  if he had any  comments to offer                                                               
on HB 54.                                                                                                                       
4:21:53 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG VINCENT-LANG,  Commissioner, Alaska  Department of  Fish and                                                               
Game  (ADF&G),  Anchorage,  Alaska, expressed  appreciation  that                                                               
Representative  Tarr  stepped   away  from  the  regulation-heavy                                                               
initial concept  of the  bill and worked  with the  department to                                                               
develop the idea of a task  force to define the problem and reach                                                               
consensus   on   needed   regulatory  or   information   outreach                                                               
strategies  to address  invasive  species. The  task force  would                                                               
bring  invasive   species  experts  together  to   have  informed                                                               
discussions  and develop  recommendations on  the next  steps. He                                                               
said  he  agreed  with  everything  that  was  said  today  about                                                               
invasive  species  being  a significant  issue  facing  fish  and                                                               
wildlife management  on lands  and waters statewide.  HB 54  is a                                                               
step in  the right direction to  look at the problem  and develop                                                               
recommendations. He  relayed that ADF&G  submitted a  fiscal note                                                               
that reflects additional staff time  associated with staffing the                                                               
task force.  He restated that ADF&G  supports the idea of  a task                                                               
force to  evaluate the  issue instead  of starting  by developing                                                               
regulations that may or may not have consensus moving forward.                                                                  
4:24:43 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE opened public testimony on HB 54.                                                                           
4:25:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MATTHEW  VAN   DAELE,  Natural  Resources  Director   and  Tribal                                                               
Biologist  for  the Sun'aq  Tribe,  Kodiak,  Alaska, thanked  the                                                               
committee  for  hearing  the bill  and  Representative  Tarr  for                                                               
continuing to  help the efforts  to control invasive  species and                                                               
raise  public awareness  about the  threats they  present to  the                                                               
state. He agreed with the  previous statements about the benefits                                                               
of having a  collaborative and interagency council  of experts to                                                               
protect Alaska's  natural resources,  and the  need for  a multi-                                                               
year strategic  and team approach.  HB 54 creates  an opportunity                                                               
for stakeholders to  work together and it empowers  the public to                                                               
actively   help  protect   the  natural   resources,  subsistence                                                               
activities, and the land and waters of Alaska.                                                                                  
4:27:40 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL SHADURA,  Representing Self,  Soldotna, Alaska,  stated that                                                               
he  had been  a commercial  fisherman for  several years  and did                                                               
understand the effects  of a health environment  and the positive                                                               
effect that has  on renewable resources. He  highlighted that the                                                               
Cook Inlet  Aquaculture Association had  spent a lot of  time and                                                               
money to assess  and extract invasive species and  to educate the                                                               
public about the  negative effects that invasive  species have on                                                               
their  lives. He  noted  that the  invasive  European Green  Crab                                                               
could  arrive  in  Alaska  by  hitching a  ride  on  a  boat.  He                                                               
referenced  the  aquatic nuisance  species  section  of the  2022                                                               
Coast Guard  authorization bill and posited  that federal funding                                                               
to control  invasive species may  be available. He  concluded his                                                               
testimony  by  quoting  from  another  state's  invasive  species                                                               
     By setting strategic goals and  convening the state and                                                                    
     federal agencies and other  partners, the council helps                                                                    
     ensure  the  investments  made   today  are  the  right                                                                    
     investments and will prevent paying  a steeper price in                                                                    
     the future.                                                                                                                
MR. SHADURA urged the committee to pass HB 54.                                                                                  
4:29:57 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID MARTIN, Representing Self,  Clam Gulch, Alaska, stated that                                                               
it is  imperative to pass  this bill to prevent  invasive species                                                               
from displacing  or drastically reducing  the natural  species in                                                               
Alaska  and  changing  the  natural  habitat.  Managing  invasive                                                               
species  is a  worldwide  issue. Millions  of  dollars have  been                                                               
spent  worldwide  to eradicate  or  manage  invasive species  and                                                               
billions of dollars have been  lost in commerce through lost food                                                               
supplies and people's  ways of life. Alaska has  not been exposed                                                               
to  a  great  number  of   invasive  species,  but  vigilance  is                                                               
necessary to prevent this from  happening. He cited examples. One                                                               
was  the introduction  of the  invasive waterweed  elodea to  the                                                               
Alexander Lake  system in the  Susitna drainage by  a floatplane.                                                               
Five  acres  were  initially  affected and  it  would  have  cost                                                               
$15,000  to  eradicate.  It  took several  years  to  obtain  the                                                               
necessary permits  and raise funding  and by then the  elodea had                                                               
spread  throughout the  lake and  into the  Alexander River.  The                                                               
cost of  eradication increased hundreds of  thousands of dollars.                                                               
Another  example was  the introduction  of invasive  pike in  the                                                               
Susitna drainage.  Those fish  ate all the  salmon and  trout and                                                               
then started to feed on themselves.                                                                                             
MR.  MARTIN described  HB 54  as an  important offensive  measure                                                               
that  complies  with  the  state  constitution  to  conserve  all                                                               
natural resources.  The bill  is well thought  out and  should be                                                               
passed into law.                                                                                                                
4:32:26 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE closed public testimony on HB 54.                                                                           
4:32:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  asked the  sponsor  what  the reasoning  was  for                                                               
housing the  council in  the Alaska Department  of Fish  and Game                                                               
instead of  the Department of  Natural Resources (DNR).  He noted                                                               
that  invasive  species  touch  both  departments  and  that  one                                                               
comment in the packet suggested that DNR would be a better home.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR said the bill  initially was focused on rapid                                                               
response,  which is  more  in  the wheelhouse  of  ADF&G and  the                                                               
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).                                                                                 
4:34:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked  where  the  delays  in  permitting  were                                                               
occurring and how the council would resolve that problem.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  answered  that the  rapid  response  permit                                                               
through  DEC has  been addressed  for problem  species that  have                                                               
been identified.  Part of the  council's role will be  to explore                                                               
potential  threats and  what regulatory  structure  is needed  to                                                               
address those  threats. The  idea is  for these  conversations to                                                               
take place before a looming threat becomes a reality.                                                                           
4:36:02 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR MICCICHE held HB 54 in committee.                                                                                    
4:37:04 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Vice Chair Micciche adjourned the Senate Resources Standing                                                                     
Committee meeting at 4:37 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 54 Explanation of Changes Version W to N 2.8.22.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Fiscal Note 3 - Governor 2.4.22.PDF SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Fiscal Note 4 - DFG-DSF 2.4.22.PDF SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Research - Cost of Invasive Species in US 1.2012.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Research - Cost of Managing Invasive Species in Alaska 7.2012.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Research - USFWS Alaska Invasive Species Presentation 3.11.21.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Senate Resources Hearing Request 2.22.22.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Testimony Received as of 3.7.22.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Testimony Received as of 4.7.21.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Version N 2.4.22.PDF SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Version O 4.7.21.PDF SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Version W 2.18.21.PDF SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB54 Sectional Analysis - Version N 2.8.22.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB54 Sponsor Statement - Version N 2.8.22.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Research - Presentation - Stallard 3.10.22.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54
HB 54 Research - Presentation - Verna 3.11.22.pdf SRES 3/11/2022 3:30:00 PM
HB 54