Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124


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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
            HB 201-MUNICIPAL REGULATION OF TRAPPING                                                                         
[Contains discussion of HB 40.]                                                                                                 
8:05:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PARISH announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 201, "An Act relating  to municipal regulation                                                               
of trapping; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
8:06:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDY  JOSEPHSON,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor,  presented HB 201.   He  spoke of another  bill he                                                               
sponsored,  HB  40,  which  was  heard  by  the  House  Resources                                                               
Standing Committee,  on which  he is co-chair  and, he  noted, on                                                               
which some  members of the  House Community and  Regional Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee also sit.   He related that during the hearing                                                               
on HB 40,  no one disputed there is evidence  related to trapping                                                               
occurring along  public trails or  that conflict has arisen  as a                                                               
result, but House Resources Standing  Committee members did voice                                                               
that  they thought  the matter  should  be addressed  on a  local                                                               
level.  He said there is nothing  in Title 16 - the fish and game                                                               
code - that prevents a  municipality from regulating the practice                                                               
of trapping  within its boundaries.   He indicated that  Title 16                                                               
outlines     trap     identification    requirements,     signage                                                               
[requirements], restrictions on types  of traps, and prohibitions                                                               
on  setting  them near  places  where  people  and pets  can  get                                                               
injured; however, it does not issue an outright ban.                                                                            
8:08:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  noted some  experts available  on line:                                                               
Nicholas  Spiropoulus, the  borough attorney  for the  Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough, and Kneeland  Taylor, an expert in this                                                               
area of law.   He said he thinks there  is some dispute regarding                                                               
the ability of  local governments to regulate trapping.   He said                                                               
that in  general he  thinks most  people would  agree that  it is                                                               
better if the  municipality owns the land in question.   He noted                                                               
that the  Mat-Su Borough  is larger than  many East  Coast states                                                               
put  together, and  he presumed  it  would not  want to  regulate                                                               
trapping far  removed from  public use trails.   He  related that                                                               
the  Mat-Su  Borough has  recently  concluded  that five  or  six                                                               
public  use trails  could be  regulated and  trapping proscribed,                                                               
because the land in question is owned by the borough.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON said  the fundamental  problem is  that                                                               
traps are "sort of an exclusive  use" - they often "come down" in                                                               
spring or  summer, but  "when they're in  the field,  they occupy                                                               
the field."   He added,  "They can sometimes  do so, sort  of, in                                                               
concert with other uses, but  often when those other uses concern                                                               
dogs ... there  are significant programs."  He stated  that he is                                                               
offering  HB  201 as  an  alternative  for consideration,  partly                                                               
because of  the aforementioned feedback from  the House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
8:11:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   JOSEPHSON,  citing   a  1982   Attorney  General                                                               
opinion, stated  that the  law in  this matter  is murky.   Local                                                               
governments  cannot preempt  state  authority, but  they can  use                                                               
powers over land management and  land management plans to do some                                                               
regulation; however,  they have  to find "some  sort of  hook" in                                                               
order to do  so.  He indicated that the  same reasoning that does                                                               
not allow  a person to fire  a gun in  a city is what  "gets them                                                               
there."  He indicated that it  is because of the murkiness of the                                                               
law that he has offered HB 201.                                                                                                 
8:12:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER  asked   Representative  Josephson   for                                                               
further   clarification  regarding   the   current  powers   that                                                               
municipalities have to regulate their borders.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  answered that he thinks  it is "unclear                                                               
that they  can do that."   He  added, "The only  attorney general                                                               
opinion on this says  that, as well."  As a  result, the views on                                                               
the issue  are broad.  He  said the Constitution of  the State of                                                               
Alaska  says   that  to  the   maximum  extent   possible,  local                                                               
governments should have power over  their own governing; however,                                                               
there  are  competing  interests  where the  Board  of  Game  can                                                               
broadly regulate state  trapping.  He said generally  there is no                                                               
trapping in the  Municipality of Anchorage, but he  does not know                                                               
who would  prevail if  a state  authority, such  as the  Board of                                                               
Game, insisted there be trapping.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER questioned if  the problem being addressed                                                               
is that pets on or off leash are getting caught in traps.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON   responded  that  "there   are  always                                                               
concerns with  hazards where  there's no pet  in question."   For                                                               
example, there  could be trap  right next  to a school  yard, and                                                               
"there would  be nothing in  the Mat-Su Borough to  prohibit it."                                                               
He concluded  that it is not  necessarily true that the  issue is                                                               
just a matter  of pets; however, the issue that  brings this bill                                                               
to  the  forefront  is  that   of  repeated  stories  written  by                                                               
journalists, mostly about pets.                                                                                                 
8:15:47 AM                                                                                                                    
NICHOLAS ("NICK") SPIROPOULOS,  Attorney, Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-                                                               
Su)  Borough, stated  that HB  201 would  grant municipalities  a                                                               
power they  do not specifically have  at present.  He  said there                                                               
are  various classes  of municipalities  in Alaska.   The  Mat-Su                                                               
Borough is a  second class borough, which means  that under Title                                                               
29 it  has a specific  list of powers.   Anchorage, on  the other                                                               
hand, is on an opposite system  wherein "if the power's not taken                                                               
away,  generally they'd  have it;  [it's] the  difference between                                                               
home rule  and a general  law municipality."   He stated  that HB
201  would add  more  power  to the  Mat-Su  Borough to  regulate                                                               
trapping.   He said  the Mat-Su Borough's  mayor and  manager are                                                               
engaged, but have  not taken up this issue;  therefore, he cannot                                                               
say  whether  or  not  the borough  would  support  the  proposed                                                               
MR.  SPIROPOULUS  noted  that the  committee  packet  contains  a                                                               
marked  up draft  of a  Mat-Su Borough  ordinance.   He indicated                                                               
that the  ordinance to regulated  trapping on  borough-owned land                                                               
had since passed  as 17-021, and he offered to  send a final copy                                                               
to  the  committee via  e-mail.    He  clarified that  the  final                                                               
version that passed has some differences in it.                                                                                 
8:19:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked how - considering  that the Mat-Su                                                               
Borough  had  already  given  itself   the  ability  to  regulate                                                               
trapping on its land - HB 201 would benefit the borough.                                                                        
MR. SPIROPOULUS  reiterated that his client,  the Mat-Su Borough,                                                               
has not taken  a position on HB 201; therefore,  he cannot answer                                                               
what it  would do  if HB 201  passed.  He  said the  borough owns                                                               
land and can designate what happens  on that land, such as a fire                                                               
station, school,  or borough central  offices.  He  gave examples                                                               
to specify how, when there is  combined state and local land, the                                                               
ordinance applies  to only the borough  owned portion of it.   He                                                               
said  the  borough owns  the  lands  on  which the  schools  sit;                                                               
therefore, trapping is prohibited on those lands.                                                                               
MR. SPIROPOULUS, in response  to Representative Rauscher, offered                                                               
his  understanding that  under HB  201,  municipalities would  be                                                               
able  to regulate  trapping on  all land  within a  municipality,                                                               
including private land.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  if the  regulation  of  trapping                                                               
includes the prevention of trapping.                                                                                            
MR. SPIROPOULUS directed attention to  paragraphs (3) and (4), in                                                               
Section  2, at  the top  of  page 2,  of  HB 201,  which read  as                                                               
            (3) restrictions on the use of types of                                                                             
      traps likely to cause injury or damage to persons or                                                                      
     property, including domestic animals;                                                                                      
               (4) prohibitions on  the setting or placement                                                                    
     of traps  in areas or  locations where they  are likely                                                                    
     to  cause  injury or  damage  to  person, property,  or                                                                    
     nontargeted species.                                                                                                       
MR.  SPIROPOULUS said  he interprets  that  language as  granting                                                               
municipalities the power to prohibit traps.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked Mr.  Spiropoulus if he  thinks the                                                               
provisions  under  HB  201  would   pertain  to  all  classes  of                                                               
MR. SPIROPOULUS  answered that  the proposed  change would  be to                                                               
Title 29,  which for  "municipality people" is  the rule  book on                                                               
what municipalities  can and cannot  do.  He said  the definition                                                               
of  "municipality" is  found under  Title 29  and includes  every                                                               
city and borough [in Alaska].                                                                                                   
8:26:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO  made  the assumption  that  the  Mat-Su                                                               
Borough  had  "the ability  to  do  that on  borough-owned  land,                                                               
because they  had complete control."   He questioned,  "Does this                                                               
fall  into the  area  wide power  provisions in  Title  29?"   He                                                               
offered  his  understanding  that  home rule,  first  class,  and                                                               
second class municipalities must use  a ballot measure and a vote                                                               
of the people to enact area wide power provisions.                                                                              
8:27:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON responded  that  he does  not know  the                                                               
answer, but  he suggested  either Mr.  Spiropoulus or  Mr. Taylor                                                               
8:28:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked if  a local ordinance implemented to                                                               
regulate trapping has ever been challenged in court.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  deferred to  [the available  lawyers on                                                               
line].   He noted that there  are a handful of  local governments                                                               
that  do  regulate trapping:    Kenai,  Homer Juneau,  Fairbanks,                                                               
Seward,  Petersburg,  Nome,   Valdez,  Anchorage,  Gustavus,  and                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER directed attention  to the words "life and                                                               
property" on  [page 1, line  10], of HB 201.   He asked  the bill                                                               
sponsor to specify whose life and whose property.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  answered  that he  thinks  life  means                                                               
human life and property would include animals.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked if  HB  201  would allow  a  local                                                               
government to bar  trapping because it might  "kill a fur-bearing                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON deferred to his staff to respond.                                                                      
8:30:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MEGAN ROWE,  Staff, Representative  Andy Josephson,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on   behalf  of  Representative   Josephson,  prime                                                               
sponsor of  HB 201,  echoed Representative  Josephson's statement                                                               
that life  means human  life and  property is  personal property.                                                               
In response  to follow-up questions from  Representative Saddler,                                                               
she  confirmed that  personal property  would include  an animal,                                                               
and HB 201  would allow a municipality to bar  trapping of a fur-                                                               
bearing  animal   if  that   fur-bearing  animal   was  someone's                                                               
property,  but not  if it  was a  wild animal  and not  someone's                                                               
property.   She added,  "I don't think  a municipality  could use                                                               
the reasoning that it's life; the 'life' in here is human life."                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER   directed   attention   to   the   term                                                               
"nontargeted species"  on page  2, line  5, of  HB 201,  which he                                                               
described as  "incidental bycatch,"  for example, if  someone was                                                               
out trapping  for martin and  caught a raccoon.   He asked  if HB
201 would give a municipality the  right to regulate that, and he                                                               
asked, "Isn't  that the kind of  power the Board of  Game resorts                                                               
to itself?"                                                                                                                     
8:32:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON responded as follows:                                                                                  
     I  think what  they're referring  to is  the subsection                                                                    
     (c)  where the  departments  may have  to  come in  and                                                                    
     eradicate pets that are rabid  or wild animals that are                                                                    
     rabid or [attend to] some other eradication problem.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE   SADDLER   asked    for   clarification   whether                                                               
"nontargeted  species"  does not  refer  to  incidental catch  of                                                               
nontargeted, fur-bearing  animals.   He explained his  concern is                                                               
to figure  out what  authority would  be given  to municipalities                                                               
under HB 201 that might be  considered the authority of the Board                                                               
of Game.                                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  said he takes  Representative Saddler's                                                               
point  about incidental  catch and  would  have to  give it  some                                                               
thought.  He deferred to Ms. Rowe.                                                                                              
8:33:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. ROWE  surmised that "nontargeted species"  could "lend itself                                                               
to the  municipalities trying  to limit  bycatch."   However, she                                                               
noted  that [within  Section 2,  of HB  201], the  aforementioned                                                               
language in  [paragraph (4)] pertains  to language  in subsection                                                               
(a), and  subsection (a) would  allow municipalities  to regulate                                                               
trapping  "to   protect  life   and  property";   therefore,  she                                                               
concluded  that  if a  municipality  is  trying to  prohibit  the                                                               
trapping  of nontargeted  species, it  would have  to be  for the                                                               
purpose of protecting life and property.                                                                                        
8:34:12 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   WESTLAKE  read   Section   2,  subsection   (a),                                                               
paragraph (4), on  page 2, lines 3-5  [text previously provided],                                                               
and he  asked how a  trapper who sets a  trap for lynx,  which is                                                               
normally set  "high" but sometimes  not, but gets wolverine  or a                                                               
wolf would be affected under that proposed language.                                                                            
8:34:53 AM                                                                                                                    
ALPHEUS   BULLARD,    Attorney,   Legislative    Legal   Counsel,                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and  Research Services,  Legislative  Affairs                                                               
Agency, Alaska  State Legislature, stated that  the prevention of                                                               
traps being  set low to  avoid getting  a wolverine instead  of a                                                               
lynx  is not  the purview  of local  government, but  is "clearly                                                               
within  the  provenance of  the  [Alaska]  Department of  Fish  &                                                               
Game."  He continued:                                                                                                           
     Those aren't  the sort of  local ordinances  that would                                                                    
     be  allowed by  this state  law.   What this  state law                                                                    
     would just  codify is sort  of the nature  of municipal                                                                    
     power  to   protect  its   local  citizens   and  their                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER   asked  whether   "nontargeted  species"                                                               
should be removed from HB 201  in order to avoid conflict between                                                               
the proposed legislation and the  existing authority of the Board                                                               
of Game.                                                                                                                        
MR.  BULLARD said  he thinks  the language  needs to  be read  in                                                               
context.  He referred to the language  on page 1, lines 9-10:  "A                                                               
municipality   may  regulate   trapping  to   protect  life   and                                                               
property".   He then referred  to the aforementioned  language in                                                               
paragraph (4).   He offered an  example of a person  who has bird                                                               
feeders in his/her  yard, and he indicated  that the municipality                                                               
could "regulate the  placement of traps" but would  still have to                                                               
protect life  and property.   He  said he does  not know  if that                                                               
language should come  out of the bill, because  "this isn't going                                                               
to allow  an ordinance that  takes the local government  into the                                                               
provenance of" ADF&G.  He  said the responsibility of the state's                                                               
fish and game is that of ADF&G, not the municipality.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked Mr.  Bullard  to  confirm that  he                                                               
thinks ["nontargeted species"] should be removed from HB 201.                                                                   
MR. BULLARD  explained that  when he drafted  the language  of HB
201, it was  his legal understanding that that  language would be                                                               
conditioned, that  any ordinance that  was adopted would  have to                                                               
protect life and  property.  He said it is  possible to take that                                                               
language out,  but the existing  language is just  codifying what                                                               
first class boroughs and municipalities can do currently.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER repeated his question.                                                                                   
MR.  BULLARD answered  that the  decision to  remove "nontargeted                                                               
species" or leave it in is up to the legislature.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  opined  that   the  language  should  be                                                               
deleted, because  he offered his  understanding that  Mr. Bullard                                                               
had  said that  "it's an  improper  impingement on  the Board  of                                                               
Game's authority to regulate incidental  take."  He said he would                                                               
offer an amendment to that  effect when committee discussion took                                                               
8:38:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked Mr.  Spiropoulus how big the Mat-Su                                                               
Borough is currently.                                                                                                           
8:38:40 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. SPIROPOULUS answered approximately 24,500 square miles.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER added, "Of control over trapping."                                                                      
8:39:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked who  makes the determination whether                                                               
something is likely to cause injury.                                                                                            
8:39:24 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  responded that he thinks  that would be                                                               
a determination made by a local  authority.  He said he thinks it                                                               
may not be easy to codify  what would cause injury and what would                                                               
not.   In response to  a follow-up question,  he said he  has not                                                               
seen a standard definition anywhere else in state law.                                                                          
8:40:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND noted that  the proposed legislation uses                                                               
the term  "may" not  "shall" in  regard to  giving municipalities                                                               
the ability  to regulate trapping.   She then asked where  in the                                                               
bill is there  language permitting the regulation  of trapping on                                                               
private property.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   JOSEPHSON  answered   that  the   permission  to                                                               
regulate  would  be  within a  municipality's  boundaries,  which                                                               
would include  private holdings.   He said  there are  people who                                                               
think  "that can't  possibly stand,"  but he  said even  though a                                                               
home is a  proverbial castle, homes are regulated  whether or not                                                               
the homeowner is  aware of the regulations.  Many  codes apply to                                                               
the homeowner.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said she agrees.   She said she envisions                                                               
someone being upset with his/her  neighbor and setting a trap for                                                               
the neighbor's  dog on the  lawn, and  since that area  is easily                                                               
accessible to children and other  small creatures, that would not                                                               
be permissible behavior in a municipality.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  said  that  begs  the  question  about                                                               
purists who  believe that  if a  dog is off  leash, then  the dog                                                               
owner is  violating law, but  there is no  law that states,  as a                                                               
matter of policy, that the ultimate  loss of the dog's life is an                                                               
acceptable price.   He said Representative  Drummond's example is                                                               
one that has been known to happen.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said she believes it has.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON advised that  anyone who thinks [HB 201]                                                               
is a  solution in search  of problem need  only to do  an on-line                                                               
search for  trapping and  trails in Alaska  to get  many results.                                                               
He said,  "This is an ongoing  problem, and it's not  going to go                                                               
away."     He   echoed   Representative  Drummond's   observation                                                               
regarding the  optional nature of HB  201, and he said  he thinks                                                               
the  proposed legislation  "approaches those  things that,  under                                                               
Title  29,  local  governments   can  legitimately  do  as  local                                                               
governments,   without  infringing   on  the   Board  of   Game's                                                               
8:45:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  the  bill sponsor  to  share  his                                                               
personal views on where and when trapping should be allowed.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  said he personally thinks  there should                                                               
be lots of trapping availability in  the state of Alaska, but not                                                               
on federal lands  where federal land managers think it  is not in                                                               
the public's  best interest.  He  added that his opinion  is "not                                                               
prevailing  in  that respect"  and  President  Donald Trump  just                                                               
"signed something that runs counter to  that."  He said he thinks                                                               
there is  a lot of interest  from dog mushers, whose  animals are                                                               
impacted by  [trapping], as  well as  dog walkers,  cross country                                                               
skiers, backpackers,  and other trail  users.  He said  he thinks                                                               
there is  an imbalance,  because "the traps  sort of  control the                                                               
turf when  they're placed."   He said he  would like traps  to be                                                               
moved  off publicly  maintained trails  by 100-200  feet, but  he                                                               
noted that the House Resources  Standing Committee disagreed with                                                               
him.  He  reiterated that the House  Resources Standing Committee                                                               
does  think  local governments  need  more  authority related  to                                                               
trapping, which is the impetus for HB 201.                                                                                      
8:48:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PARISH opened public testimony on HB 201.                                                                              
8:48:46 AM                                                                                                                    
JAN WRENTMORE related that the  City of Skagway grappled with the                                                               
issue  of trapping.   She  recollected  that the  city passed  an                                                               
ordinance in  2015 to regulate  for public safety  within borough                                                               
boundaries.    She opined  that  HB  201  is an  excellent  bill,                                                               
because  it would  offer clarification  to what  many communities                                                               
are  already  doing,  which  is  regulating  where  trapping  can                                                               
happen.  She  said the community in Skagway  dealt with set-backs                                                               
in certain areas and designated a  huge rural area, in which set-                                                               
backs  from  trails were  much  smaller.    She related  that  in                                                               
Skagway "trapping  is prohibited  within 50  yards of  any public                                                               
street,  road, right-of-way,  or highway,  or established  marked                                                               
trail within  the boundaries of  the Skagway Borough,  unless the                                                               
area is  designated 'rural trapping  area.'"  She noted  that the                                                               
ordinance  in Skagway  defines  the large  rural  tracts of  land                                                               
where the set-back is only 25 yards.                                                                                            
MS.  WRENTMORE explained  that the  old-timers in  Skagway always                                                               
set their  traps far from  town; the necessity for  the ordinance                                                               
came about  when two or  three "guys"  decided to trap  in public                                                               
parks, along trails, and in the  cemetery.  She said she likes HB
201 for  the control  it would  give municipalities,  because she                                                               
said only the  people in those municipalities  know, for example,                                                               
where the favorite  trails are.  She said ADF&G  was not helpful,                                                               
because it does not understand  "the recreational side of it" and                                                               
instead just  wants to  manage game  populations.   She concluded                                                               
that HB 201  would give municipalities the ability  to figure out                                                               
what  works for  their communities  and  what areas  would be  of                                                               
8:52:01 AM                                                                                                                    
KNEELAND  TAYLOR, Attorney,  testified in  support of  HB 201  as                                                               
legislation necessary  to address  the murkiness  surrounding the                                                               
authority of  municipalities in regulating the  placing of traps.                                                               
He said  he wrote legal  opinions on this  matter on behalf  of a                                                               
group in  the Mat-Su Borough  that was pushing for  an ordinance,                                                               
which ultimately was enacted.  He  said he also served on a Board                                                               
of  Game subcommittee  about  15  years ago  that  looked at  the                                                               
placing of traps  near trailheads near Anchorage.   He noted that                                                               
he  supported HB  40, and  he  echoed Representative  Josephson's                                                               
remarks  that the  feedback  on that  legislation  was that  [the                                                               
regulation  of  trap setting]  should  be  a  local matter.    He                                                               
indicated that  those who have  seen traps set at  trailheads and                                                               
right alongside  trails would like  to see those traps  set back.                                                               
He said  this is  a long-standing problem,  and clarity  would be                                                               
helpful to those who would like to see restrictions placed.                                                                     
8:55:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE asked how  the proposed legislation would                                                               
change what is presently possible.                                                                                              
MR. TAYLOR answered that municipal  governments in Alaska express                                                               
authority  to  regulate the  placing  of  traps near  trailheads,                                                               
along  trails, and  in  other public,  populated  areas, such  as                                                               
schools.    He said  it  is  not  now  presently clear  that  the                                                               
municipalities  have that  authority.   He echoed  Representative                                                               
Drummond's previous  observation that  HB 201 would,  through the                                                               
use  of the  word "may",  allow municipalities  to set  limits on                                                               
trapping -  it would  not require  them to do  so.   He indicated                                                               
that  without  this  provision,  the groups  with  which  he  has                                                               
associated  find  themselves  involved  in  litigation,  and  the                                                               
proposed legislation  would give  them a  fighting chance  in any                                                               
conflict between federal or local authority.                                                                                    
8:57:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked  Mr. Taylor for his  general view on                                                               
trapping in Alaska.                                                                                                             
MR. TAYLOR  answered that  he would like  to see  restrictions on                                                               
trapping in  densely populated areas  and trapping  along densely                                                               
populated trails and  at trailheads.  He said he  does not oppose                                                               
all  trapping  in  Alaska.    He   added,  "A  long  time  ago  I                                                               
entertained some of those views,  but I've gotten older and wiser                                                               
and changed those views."                                                                                                       
8:58:36 AM                                                                                                                    
AL BARRETTE  testified in opposition to  HB 201.  He  opined that                                                               
using interpretive  terminology is dangerous.   He commented that                                                               
local governments make up a large  portion of the state.  He said                                                               
almost  every  municipality  or  borough  has  subsistence  areas                                                               
within   their  boundaries,   and  HB   201  would   infringe  on                                                               
subsistence  activities.    He  said  the  Fairbanks  North  Star                                                               
Borough does  not have policing powers,  so he does not  know how                                                               
this  could work.   He  said  he has  been told  by Alaska  State                                                               
Troopers that they  do not enforce ordinances, which  is why, for                                                               
example, they do  not write a ticket for someone  who has his/her                                                               
dog off leash in violation of a municipality's ordinance.                                                                       
MR. BARRETTE noted that a  1982 attorney general's opinion stated                                                               
that the  Board of Game did  not have the authority  to "regulate                                                               
safety," but in  about 1983 the legislature  adopted new language                                                               
in AS  16.05.255 (11), which  allows the  Board of Game  to adopt                                                               
regulations for "taking game to  ensure public safety".  He noted                                                               
that  Creamer's  Field  in  Fairbanks  is  within  the  municipal                                                               
boundary  and allows  trapping  through the  Board  of Game,  and                                                               
under HB 201, that could be taken away by a municipality.                                                                       
MR. BARRETTE  warned that the proposed  "cookie cutter, one-size-                                                               
fits-all"  legislation should  not  be supported,  because it  is                                                               
"the wrong way to go."                                                                                                          
9:01:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FANSLER  asked why Mr.  Barrette thinks that  the result                                                               
would  be a  cookie cutter  situation for  the entire  state when                                                               
clearly the  bill proposes that  each municipality would  be able                                                               
to choose whether or not  to regulate and which regulations would                                                               
serve each  community.  He said  he could worry that  the outcome                                                               
would  be  the  opposite,  wherein   "you  could  be  going  from                                                               
municipality to  municipality and not  have any idea of  what the                                                               
trapping laws are in that region."                                                                                              
MR. BARRETTE responded  that he thinks Co-Chair  Fansler could be                                                               
correct in  his estimation and  perhaps his  own use of  the term                                                               
"cookie cutter" was  wrong.  He said a trap  line running through                                                               
two municipalities  could have two sets  of regulations affecting                                                               
the  trapper.     He  also   reiterated  his  concern   that  the                                                               
regulations  on setbacks  or  the size  of  traps could  restrict                                                               
subsistence trapping.  He said as  a trapper, he sometimes sets a                                                               
trap for  one species but  unintentionally catches  a nontargeted                                                               
species,  and  [under  HB  201],  an  assembly  could  decide  to                                                               
restrict  his  ability  to  trap   based  on  the  likelihood  of                                                               
nontargeted species being caught in the trap.                                                                                   
9:04:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  pointed out  that  from  unit to  unit                                                               
there already are  different regulations from the  Board of Game.                                                               
Further,  there are  subunits  within each  game  unit that  have                                                               
separate regulations in terms of methods  and means.  He said the                                                               
idea that "we couldn't possibly  tolerate this" because a borough                                                               
might want  regulation while [an adjacent]  borough wants another                                                               
"rings hollow a little bit."                                                                                                    
9:05:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  for clarification  regarding  the                                                               
citation Mr. Barrette had given.                                                                                                
MR.  BARRETTE  said  he  had  cited  [paragraph]  (11)  from  the                                                               
aforementioned statute.   He said  a person could  probably argue                                                               
that "public safety"  means human safety and not  that of private                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER pointed  to the  phrase "likely  to cause                                                               
injury" on page 2,  line 4, of HB 201, and  he asked Mr. Barrette                                                               
if he  is aware of  anywhere in  Alaska statute where  a standard                                                               
has been established regarding [the  meaning of] "likely to cause                                                               
MR. BARRETTE responded that he has not seen that in statute.                                                                    
9:07:05 AM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE  WEBER testified  that  three  to four  years  ago, it  was                                                               
brought to  his attention that  someone was setting traps  at the                                                               
end of the  road in the subdivision  in which he lives.   He said                                                               
he researched to  find out what kind of regulations  the state or                                                               
municipality had  for the placing  of traps and was  surprised to                                                               
discover there  were none.  He  then began a campaign  to get the                                                               
municipality  of Skagway  to  adopt  regulations outlining  where                                                               
trapping  should  and should  not  be.    He clarified  that  his                                                               
purpose had not  been to end trapping, because  he believes there                                                               
are  places  where  trapping  should   occur;  however,  he  also                                                               
believes  there are  lots  of places  where  trapping should  not                                                               
occur.   Mr. Weber  said he thinks  the number  of municipalities                                                               
and  boroughs that  have  adopted  legislation delineating  where                                                               
trapping  should and  should not  occur is  an indication  of the                                                               
need for HB 201.                                                                                                                
9:09:58 AM                                                                                                                    
KENNY  BARBER testified  in opposition  to HB  201.   He said  he                                                               
thinks  it is  wrong to  give municipalities  the right  to close                                                               
trapping on private  lands, which is what he -  having just heard                                                               
about the  proposed legislation today -  understands would happen                                                               
under HB  201.  Further, he  said he thinks "this  whole thing is                                                               
getting blown out of proportion  stating that people are trapping                                                               
close to  their homes."   He said,  "Some of it  might be,  but I                                                               
think some  of it has  to do with  dogs, in general."   Regarding                                                               
safety,  he said  he does  not know  of any  person who  has been                                                               
caught  in or  harmed  in a  trap  in Alaska,  "unless  it was  a                                                               
trapper himself who  messed up."  He questioned how  the Board of                                                               
Game would  "control this thing  from getting  out of hand."   He                                                               
concluded, "It doesn't make much sense to me."                                                                                  
9:11:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER said  Mr. Barber brought up  a point that                                                               
he  would like  addressed by  someone from  Alaska Department  of                                                               
Fish & Game.                                                                                                                    
9:12:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON noted  that Ms.  Rowe had  reminded him                                                               
that "likely  to cause injury" does  "ring a bit with  the common                                                               
law  on  recklessness,"   and  that  may  be  a   good  place  to                                                               
investigate the term.                                                                                                           
9:13:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ROWE   offered  her  understanding  that   a  definition  of                                                               
reckless, along with  the phrase "likely to  cause injury", could                                                               
be found  in Title 11, under  criminal law.  She  added, "I think                                                               
that's why  we chose that  language is because it's  been defined                                                               
in common law and it's defined in statute."                                                                                     
9:13:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER remarked  on the  many regulations  [the                                                               
state]  has regarding  the many  traditions of  trapping, and  he                                                               
said he would like to know what ADF&G's position is on HB 201.                                                                  
9:14:29 AM                                                                                                                    
HAZEL   NELSON,  Director,   Division   of  Subsistence,   Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish &  Game (ADF&G), stated  that while  she does                                                               
not have  all the answers for  the committee, she would  say that                                                               
"we probably have concern about  the language" to the extent that                                                               
she anticipates  there would be,  under HB 201,  "confusions that                                                               
would have to be clarified."                                                                                                    
9:17:22 AM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE DALE,  Director, Division of Wildlife  Conservation, Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish &  Game (ADF&G),  stated that  the department                                                               
does not have  a position on HB 201 at  this time; however, there                                                               
are  some  questions  as  to   who  would  enforce  the  proposed                                                               
legislation.   He pointed  out that  many of  the municipalities'                                                               
regulations  are   actually  Board  of  Game   regulations.    He                                                               
mentioned Anchorage, Fairbanks, Skagway,  and Kenai.  In response                                                               
to Representative  Rauscher, offered  his understanding  that the                                                               
ability [of  municipalities] to regulate  their own land  is what                                                               
has already been established, but  "they can't regulate all lands                                                               
within  municipal boundaries."   He  suggested the  Department of                                                               
Law could provide a more detailed response.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked, "So,  then, have they  been given                                                               
the power to do this through fish and game?"                                                                                    
MR.  DALE  answered, "No,  that  ...  would  have to  be  through                                                               
statute in  the legislature.  The  Board of Game, of  course, can                                                               
regulate any lands in the state."                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER clarified his question as follows:                                                                      
     I guess I'm  a little confused on  how some communities                                                                    
     do have the ability to  regulate this and have done so,                                                                    
     and some  say they can't  because they don't  have that                                                                    
9:20:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHERYL  BROOKING,   Assistant  Attorney  General   (AG),  Natural                                                               
Resources Section, Civil Division  (Anchorage), Department of Law                                                               
(DOL),   responded   to   Representative  Rauscher's   query   by                                                               
explaining that some municipalities  have adopted ordinances that                                                               
are not particularly valid, and she  said she does not know "what                                                               
level  of enforcement  that they  ... have."   She  said that  is                                                               
similar to state statute that the  court has ruled as invalid but                                                               
which is still  on the books.  Conversely, there  are examples of                                                               
when the  Board of  Game has adopted  regulations.   For example,                                                               
there were  certain areas in  the City  & Borough of  Juneau that                                                               
were heavily used  by "a variety of different users"  who came to                                                               
the Board of  Game with a proposal to regulate  where traps could                                                               
be set  in these  heavily used  trail areas.   With that  type of                                                               
consensus, the Board  of Game adopted state  regulations, and the                                                               
municipal regulations  on the  books mirror  the ones  adopted by                                                               
the Board of Game.  So,  right now the municipalities do not have                                                               
the  authority to  regulate hunting  or trapping,  "but like  the                                                               
Mat-Su Borough  did, the borough  regulated whether or  not traps                                                               
can  be placed  or  where  they can  be  placed on  borough-owned                                                               
MS.  BROOKING stated  that HB  201 is  "a little  bit different,"                                                               
because it would allow municipalities  to regulate all trapping -                                                               
not  just  the placement  of  traps  - within  their  boundaries,                                                               
including on state,  federal, and borough boundaries.   She added                                                               
that HB  201 appears  to include  university and  railroad lands,                                                               
although she admitted she is not clear on that.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   RAUSCHER   questioned,   "So,  are   we   giving                                                               
permission for ... the ability to do federal land also?"                                                                        
CO-CHAIR PARISH said, "Ms. Brooking?"                                                                                           
MS. BROOKING responded, "Yes."                                                                                                  
9:22:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PARISH,  after ascertaining that  there was no  one else                                                               
who wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 201.                                                                       
9:22:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked Ms.  Nelson how AS 16.05.255(11) has                                                               
been interpreted as to the right  of the state to regulate taking                                                               
of game for police purposes to ensure public safety.                                                                            
MS. NELSON deferred to DOL.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER rephrased his  question to inquire whether                                                               
the aforementioned statute has ever been applied and enforced.                                                                  
9:24:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BROOKING answered  yes, the  Board of  Game responds  to all                                                               
proposals, and the overriding goal  and directive of the Board of                                                               
Game  is  "to regulate  for  the  conservation, utilization,  and                                                               
development of  the resource,"  and in doing  that the  board can                                                               
also  address  public  safety  concerns.    She  said  the  board                                                               
addresses  issues  of overuse  and  conflict,  which can  involve                                                               
public  safety concerns.   The  board also  has regulations  that                                                               
allow the  taking of an animal  in defense of life  and property,                                                               
which is also a public safety concern.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked  if  the board  ever regulated  the                                                               
taking, use, or  management of non-game animals  under the public                                                               
safety authority.                                                                                                               
MS. BROOKING answered  that the board does  not regulate non-game                                                               
animals; domestic animals are outside of the board's authority.                                                                 
9:26:12 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  said, "When  we do something  like this,                                                               
we put  it into Title 29.   I don't  see this as being  an actual                                                               
power, and I  would assume that the municipalities  would have to                                                               
adopt the  power in order to  engage this, which would  be public                                                               
safety.   I don't think  it fits  under land regulation  or solid                                                               
waste or education.  So, is  this a standalone thing?  Would they                                                               
have to  adopt another power?"   He said he was  thinking of home                                                               
rule  and  first and  second  class  boroughs.   He  offered  his                                                               
understanding that there may need to  be a vote of the people and                                                               
that [new regulations adopted] must  fit somewhere within borough                                                               
code.  He  asked if the land  use power would have  to "fit under                                                               
public safety" or if it could be "put in land use regulation."                                                                  
9:27:31 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKING answered  that the proposed bill,  as written, seems                                                               
to be "within  the public safety power."  She  said it is unclear                                                               
whether a borough would need to  "adopt that or somehow have that                                                               
power."    She  said  HB  201  seems  to  apply  to  all  cities,                                                               
municipalities,  and boroughs,  regardless of  their class.   She                                                               
concluded  that   she  does   not  really   have  an   answer  to                                                               
Representative Talerico's question.                                                                                             
9:28:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE read an excerpt  of an article written by                                                               
The East  Idaho News on  March 22,  regarding an incident  when a                                                             
boy was playing  with his dog and touched a  pipe sticking out of                                                               
the ground.   What  he touched  was a cyanide  trap set  to catch                                                               
coyotes, and  the trap emitted  sodium cyanide, which  killed the                                                               
boy's dog and  required the boy to wash his  eyes before he could                                                               
run home  for help.  The  incident occurred just 10  minutes from                                                               
the boy's home.   Representative Westlake asked, "Is  there a way                                                               
we can stop certain traps like this?"                                                                                           
MS.  BROOKING  responded that  she  was  not familiar  with  that                                                               
particular incident  but does not  believe that type  of trapping                                                               
is allowed  in Alaska.  To  a follow-up question, she  said under                                                               
current law,  anyone can make  a proposal  to the Board  of Game.                                                               
She  noted that  there  is  a regulatory  cycle  to consider  for                                                               
submitting proposals.                                                                                                           
9:30:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   DRUMMOND  relayed   that  the   Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage is roughly 2,000 square  miles and includes the bulk of                                                               
Chugach State  Park, which is roughly  780 square miles.   Of the                                                               
738,000  people who  live  in  Alaska, 300,000  of  them live  in                                                               
Anchorage; and  the square mileage  of Anchorage  is three-tenths                                                               
of  one percent  of the  area of  the state.   She  asked if  her                                                               
assumption is  correct that  if HB 201  becomes law,  ADF&G would                                                               
still have jurisdiction in Chugach  State Park, which borders the                                                               
Municipality of Anchorage.                                                                                                      
9:32:55 AM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR  BERNARD  CHASTAIN,  Deputy Director,  Division  of  Alaska                                                               
Wildlife  Troopers, Department  of  Public  Safety (DPS),  stated                                                               
that the division  is a state law  enforcement agency responsible                                                               
for  statewide  enforcement  of hunting,  fishing,  and  trapping                                                               
regulations.  He emphasized that DPS  does not have a position on                                                               
HB 201  other than as it  may relate to enforceability.   He said                                                               
the troopers  enforce state  law -  they do  not enforce  city or                                                               
municipal  code.    He  said  that  is  important,  because  some                                                               
boroughs and municipalities are large  areas that fall outside of                                                               
city  limits,  so the  enforcement  falls  to the  police  agency                                                               
responsible for  the area  within the city  limits.   Outside the                                                               
city limits, for example, in  a borough, the enforcement falls to                                                               
a  borough  enforcement  officer  for wildlife  or  any  type  of                                                               
wildlife  complaints.    He  said  some  boroughs  have  [borough                                                               
enforcement officers]  while others  do not.   He  indicated that                                                               
the borough officers would be  the ones responsible for municipal                                                               
codes placed on the areas outside of city limits.                                                                               
9:34:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PARISH announced that HB 201 was held over.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 201 vers A 3.30.17.PDF HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
HB 201 Sponsor Statement.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
HB 201 1982 AG Opinion.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
HB 201 Case law.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
HB 201 Matsu Ordinance 3.21.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
HB 201 Muni Trapping Codes.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
HB 201 News Articles.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
SB064 Sponsor Statement 3.29.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Sectional Analysis Ver. J 3.29.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Opposition Letter - DOD 3.29.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Support Letters 3.29.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Supporting Document - DOD Response 3.29.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Support Document - Fact Sheet 3.29.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Support Doc - Uniform Law Commission 3.29.2017.PDF HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Fiscal Note DEC-SPAR 4.6.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
SB064 Fiscal Note DNR-MLW 4.6.2017.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
SB 64
HB201-DFG-DWC-04-07-17.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201
HB 201 LAA Legal Memos.pdf HCRA 4/11/2017 8:00:00 AM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201