Legislature(2003 - 2004)

2003-03-06 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2003-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0411
SB 122                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 122 BY THE SENATE 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."                                                         

2003-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0412
was read the first time and referred to the Resources and Finance                                   
The following fiscal information was published today:                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Department of Fish and Game                                                     
 Fiscal Note No. 2, Department of Fish and Game                                                     
Governor's transmittal letter dated March 5:                                                        
Dear President Therriault:                                                                          
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.                                 

2003-03-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 0413
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.                                  
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.                                                                         
Frank H. Murkowski