Legislature(2003 - 2004)
2003-03-05 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2003-03-05 House Journal Page 0433 HB 163 HOUSE BILL NO. 163 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act relating to an annual wildlife conservation pass and the fee for that pass; relating to nonresident and nonresident alien big game tag fees; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Resources and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Fiscal, Dept. of Fish & Game 2. Fiscal, Dept. of Fish & Game 2003-03-05 House Journal Page 0434 The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 5, 2003, follows: "Dear Speaker Kott: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill that raises additional revenues for fish and wildlife management programs in Alaska. Alaska's fish and wildlife is a public resource enjoyed by a variety of users from hunters, trappers and anglers to wildlife viewers, many of whom travel to Alaska to utilize our abundant resources. This legislation ensures that the cost of wildlife management is shared more broadly with those who use and enjoy our wildlife, and that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has the resources necessary to manage Alaska's fish and wildlife resources. Under this bill, wildlife viewers using certain commercial services will be required to help support management of Alaska's wildlife by purchasing a $15 annual "wildlife conservation pass" unless they hold another qualifying license or permit. Funds generated will be deposited into a separate account of the general fund and may be used for wildlife management, research, education, and viewing programs. Alaska is a world class visitor destination, and viewing wildlife is one of the primary visitor attractions. The abundance of wildlife throughout the state provides tremendous economic development opportunities. These user funds will help support wildlife management programs and in so doing will support Alaska's growing tourism industry. Funds from this bill will be used in part to match new federal dollars Alaska is receiving through the State Wildlife Grants Program. This bill also raises the big game tag fees for non-resident and non- resident alien hunters to harvest caribou, moose, goats, and sheep. These increases bring Alaska's fees in line with fees charged in a number of other Western states for these or similar species. In general, hunters visiting our state are more oriented to a recreational experience than Alaska residents and it is important that they support the wildlife management that helps make these resources available. 2003-03-05 House Journal Page 0435 The fees in this legislation will enhance revenues for a diversity of wildlife management programs. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this legislation. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely, /s/ Frank H. Murkowski Governor"