Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

01/26/2010 10:15 AM FISHERIES


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10:18:36 AM Start
10:18:47 AM HB227
11:36:55 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 227 HOLITNA BASIN RESERVE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                  HB 227-HOLITNA BASIN RESERVE                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:18:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR HOUSE BILL  NO. 227, "An Act  relating to                                                               
the establishment of  state fish and game  reserves; creating the                                                               
Holitna River  Basin Hunting, Fishing, and  Trapping Reserve; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:19:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB  HERRON, Alaska State  Legislature, introduced                                                               
HB 227,  providing a history of  the area and the  development of                                                               
the legislation.  The intent  is to provide a specific management                                                               
plan for this remote area of the state.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:21:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON  indicated that the  bill before the committee  is a                                                               
Sponsor Substitute (SS) for House Bill 227.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:21:55 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ROB  EARL,  Staff, to  Representative  Bob  Herron, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  HB  227, paraphrasing  from  a  prepared                                                               
statement,   which   read   as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     First of all, we  appreciate the Chairman's very timely                                                                    
     scheduling of this bill because  it turns out HB 227 is                                                                    
     slated to  be discussed in  Board of Game and  Board of                                                                    
     Fisheries meetings this same week.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Residents have been requesting  the Holitna drainage be                                                                    
     established as  a refuge  since the  mid-1980s.   It is                                                                    
     the  largest drainage  feeding the  Kuskokwim watershed                                                                    
     and  is prime  habitat  for moose,  bear, caribou,  and                                                                    
     furbearers.    It's  also an  important  area  for  all                                                                    
     species of salmon  - ¼ of the Coho; 1/3  of the Chinook                                                                    
     and  Chum, and  2/3  of Sockeye  running the  Kuskokwim                                                                    
     spawn in the Holitna drainage.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     I'd  like to  move into  a geographical  overview.   We                                                                    
     have 3  maps, they should  all be in your  packets (and                                                                    
     on  BASIS).   Map One  shows the  Holitna Watershed  in                                                                  
     red,  the proposed  Reserve boundary.   This  is mostly                                                                    
     state  owned  land  in here.   Some  big  State  Mining                                                                    
     Claims  in  the  west  here   -  there  has  been  some                                                                    
     exploration  and some  limited mining  activity.   Wood                                                                    
     Tikchik State Park abuts in  the southwest here.  There                                                                    
     are some  relatively small Native  allotments sprinkled                                                                    
     around.  The northern part  of the Reserve is generally                                                                    
     low  with extensive  wetlands,  while  the central  and                                                                    
     southern portions some hilly  areas, several lakes, and                                                                    
     high points close to 4000 feet.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The 165-mile  long Hoholitna River flows  into the 110-                                                                    
     mile Holitna  which 20 miles  farther empties  into the                                                                    
     Kuskokwim River.   No villages lie  within the proposed                                                                    
     Reserve.   Sleetmute (70) is  just to the north  here -                                                                    
     250 miles upriver  from Bethel.  Red Devil  (48) is the                                                                    
     next village  down the Kuskokwim  and Stony  River (51)                                                                    
     the next village  upriver; Lime village (32)  is on the                                                                    
     Stony  River in  the next  drainage to  the east.   All                                                                    
     these    villages   have    populations   under    100.                                                                    
     Historically,  the area  has been  used by  hunters and                                                                    
     fishers  from about  23 villages.   Most  access is  by                                                                    
     boat  or  by  airplane  to  lakes  or  largely  landing                                                                    
     strips.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  total area  of  the proposed  Reserve  is about  4                                                                    
     million  acres, or  6250  square  miles, slightly  less                                                                    
     than the land  area of the Hawaiian  Islands (6,423 sq.                                                                    
     miles).   [According  to the  DNR Kuskokwim  Area Plan,                                                                    
     there  are  165 private  parcels  in  the area,  mostly                                                                    
     Native Allotments.]                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  area lies  entirely  within  Rep. Woodie  Salmon's                                                                    
     House District.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:26:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL  directed attention to  the game management unit  map of                                                               
the proposed area, and said that  the bill does not infringe upon                                                               
the  existing  use  of  the  area,  nor  does  it  call  for  any                                                               
alteration,  or   override,  of   current  rules   or  management                                                               
practices.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:28:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON inquired about the reason for the SS.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:28:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON said  that the bill was  introduced late in                                                               
the  first  session  of  the 26th  Legislature  and  remained  in                                                               
committee during the interim.   The lack of movement provided him                                                               
additional  time  to consult  further  with  the departments  and                                                               
incorporate  additional  input,  which resulted  in  the  sponsor                                                               
substitute (SS).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:29:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  EARL  presented  the bill  sectional,  paraphrasing  from  a                                                               
prepared document,  which read  as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.700. Purpose                                                                                               
     States  that the  purpose of  establishing  a fish  and                                                                    
     game reserve is to  promote sustainable levels of human                                                                    
     consumption of fish and game.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.710. Regulations                                                                                           
     Gives authority to  the Board of Game or  Board of Fish                                                                    
     (whichever  is more  appropriate) to  adopt regulations                                                                    
     designed to  conserve fish and  game; and to  carry out                                                                    
     the  purpose as  set  forth in  sections 16.20.700  and                                                                    
     16.20.720.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (a)                                                                                                    
     All  present  and  future state-owned  land  and  water                                                                    
     within the  Holitna and  Hoholitna River  watersheds is                                                                    
     designated as part of the Reserve.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (b)                                                                                                    
     The Reserve is established to ensure:                                                                                      
   1. Management and protection of fish and game populations                                                                    
     and habitat to perpetuate subsistence use, commercial                                                                      
     use, and other consumptive uses;                                                                                           
   2. Management techniques that promote maximum use with                                                                       
     sustained yield to maintain historical harvest levels                                                                      
     with human consumptive use as a priority;                                                                                  
   3. Maintenance of fish and game populations to provide                                                                       
     for high levels of human consumptive use (within                                                                           
     limits set by Fish and Game Boards);                                                                                       
   4. Allowance for scientific research elucidating the                                                                         
     effectiveness of management activities in this section                                                                     
     in providing for current and future human harvest                                                                          
     needs.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (c)                                                                                                    
     The  Department   of  Fish  and  Game,   the  Board  of                                                                    
     Fisheries and the  Board of Game shall  manage fish and                                                                    
     game resources  within the Reserve to  provide for high                                                                    
     levels  of human  harvest  and,  subject to  priorities                                                                    
     among  intensively   managed  areas  for   which  these                                                                    
     entities set policy, shall:                                                                                                
   1. Control predation and adjust predator and prey                                                                            
     population ratios thru appropriate means;                                                                                  
   2. Conduct management actions designed to further the                                                                        
     purposes of this section so long as the appropriate                                                                        
     board has not found such actions to be ineffective at                                                                      
     maintaining fish and game populations commonly                                                                             
     harvested for food by humans;                                                                                              
   3. Consider scientific evidence augmented by local                                                                           
     environmental knowledge when evaluating management                                                                         
     activities.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (d)                                                                                                    
     The  Department   of  Natural  Resources   may  acquire                                                                    
     privately owned land within the  Reserve by purchase or                                                                    
     exchange, but not thru eminent domain.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (e)                                                                                                    
     Public access to  the Reserve may be  regulated by DNR,                                                                    
     in  consultation with  DFG, as  necessary  to meet  the                                                                    
     purposes of this section and  to protect access to, and                                                                    
     development of, other resources within the Reserve.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (f)                                                                                                    
     Access  corridors established  by DNR,  in consultation                                                                    
     with DFG and a private  property owner, shall guarantee                                                                    
     access  to   and  from  private  property   within  the                                                                    
     Reserve.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (g)                                                                                                    
     Entry   into  the   Reserve  to   explore  or   develop                                                                    
     nonrenewable  resources must  be  approved  by DNR,  in                                                                    
     consultation  with DFG,  and  such  activities must  be                                                                    
     compatible with the purpose of this section.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (h)                                                                                                    
     Except as  otherwise provided in this  section, DFG and                                                                    
     DNR shall exercise their  respective authority over the                                                                    
     Reserve  thru  a management  plan  prepared  by DFG  in                                                                    
     consultation with DNR.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 16.20.720 (i)                                                                                                    
     Reserve  boundaries are  defined as  including all  the                                                                    
     sections (listed beneath  their respective township and                                                                    
     range  designations) on  the last  eight pages  of this                                                                    
     bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:34:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON   asked   whether   certain   types   of                                                               
development  could be  found incompatible  because  of the  bill,                                                               
such as a mine.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:34:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON responded  that the  eastern boundary  may                                                               
preclude mining  activity, but  methane development  could occur.                                                               
There  are  no large-scale  mines  predicted  for this  area,  he                                                               
reported.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:36:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI noted  the compatibility  determination,                                                               
and  asked if  DNR  would  have the  sole  right  of refusal  for                                                               
development.  Would a mining claim  in the area be subject to the                                                               
terms of this bill, he queried.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:36:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON said  that there is no  trumping power, and                                                               
deferred to the departments for a more detailed response.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:37:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DICK  MYLIUS, Director,  Department of  Natural Resources  (DNR),                                                               
Division of  Mining, Land and  Water, stated that  the department                                                               
does  not hold  a position  on  the bill,  however, he  expressed                                                               
concerns  regarding future  resource development  and asked  that                                                               
the intent of  the bill to be clearly identified,  as well as the                                                               
area boundaries.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:39:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  referred to page 3,  line 23, subsection                                                               
(g), and  noted the  language which states,  "Entry upon  the ...                                                               
Reserve  for purposes  of exploration  and development  ..."   He                                                               
asked what the  intent of this language is,  and what constraints                                                               
might be put on exploration activities.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:40:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS   responded  that  this   will  not   alter  existing                                                               
requirements  in terms  of permitting.   Anyone  is able  to take                                                               
rock  samples, for  instance, using  hand implements,  and mining                                                               
claims  are  self  initiated  prior  to  permitting.    Extensive                                                               
exploration activities  do require permits, but  the process will                                                               
not be  affected by  this bill.   He pointed  out that  timber, a                                                               
renewable resource,  is handled differently  than oil and  gas or                                                               
mining.   Timber  resources do  exist in  the lower  part of  the                                                               
proposed basin.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:42:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  SAXBY,   Senior  Assistant  Attorney,   Natural  Resources                                                               
Section, Civil Division, Department  of Law (DOL), indicated that                                                               
he was available for questions.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:42:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  asked  for  a legal  description  of  a                                                               
reserve versus a refuge.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:42:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  said that one of  the underlying purposes of  a refuge                                                               
is  to preserve  hunting  and fishing  opportunities.   The  bill                                                               
before the  committee would  constitute the  first time  that the                                                               
legislature will have created a  fishing and hunting, or fish and                                                               
game,  reserve.    It  is  before  the  committee  to  craft  the                                                               
precedent-setting  language,  however,  as the  bill  reads,  the                                                               
difference  will  be  to  place "a  greater  emphasis  on  active                                                               
management  to produce  high levels  of  human consumptive  use."                                                               
This reserve would not be just  a place where hunting and fishing                                                               
is allowed, but stipulates the  administration to manage for high                                                               
levels of  that activity.   It  is analogous  to a  state forest,                                                               
where statute  requires the production  of timber as  the primary                                                               
identified purpose.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:44:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:44:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  CARNEY,  Chairman,  Stony/Holitna Fish  and  Game  Advisory                                                               
Committee,  Owner, Sleetmute  Lodge, stated  support for  HB 227,                                                               
and described  the historical use  of the area being  the largest                                                               
tributary and  most productive spawning stream  for the Kuskokwim                                                               
River  drainage.   The importance  of  this area,  as a  spawning                                                               
habitat, has  become more evident through  recent radio telemetry                                                               
studies.   He reported the high  numbers of moose that  have been                                                               
harvested on  an annual basis,  and that  the people of  the area                                                               
would  appreciate  having   it  managed  as  an   area  for  high                                                               
consumptive use.  People up and  down the Kuskokwim River rely on                                                               
this productive area for annual harvests, particularly for fish.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:47:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LISA  FEYEREISEN,  Coordinator,  Sleetmute  Traditional  Council,                                                               
stated support for HB 227,  and underscored the statements of the                                                               
previous speaker.  She stressed  the need to maintain the habitat                                                               
for the benefit of the  subsistence users, and livelihoods of the                                                               
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:49:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  THALHAUSER,   Fisheries  Director,   Fisheries  Department,                                                               
Kuskokwim Native  Association, Aniak, Alaska, stated  support for                                                               
HB 227.   The Native  association has cooperated with  the Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish &  Game (ADF&G), and  the United  States Fish                                                               
and Wildlife  Service, on fish  studies and surveys of  the area.                                                               
He  reported  results  of these  studies,  which  underscore  the                                                               
importance  of the  Holitna River  as an  important habitat,  and                                                               
productive  spawning  ground,  for  various fish  species.    The                                                               
Holitna supports  fish populations  that feed into  the Kuskokwim                                                               
River drainage system.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:52:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GRANT FAIRBANKS,  stated support for  HB 227, and  declared that,                                                               
as the breadbasket of the  area, the Holitna watershed is finally                                                               
getting the recognition  that it deserves.  At one  point, in the                                                               
1970's, the federal government sought  to designate the area as a                                                               
scenic  and wild  watershed in  recognition of  its significance.                                                               
He opined  that the highest and  best use of the  Holitna area is                                                               
its current  purpose.  It  has been a  long term project  to have                                                               
this area protected, and protecting  the subsistence resources is                                                               
imperative.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:55:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
GREG ROCZICKA,  Director, Natural Resource  Program, Orutsaramuit                                                               
Native Council, stated  support for HB 227, and said  he has been                                                               
assisting in  the development of  this bill during the  last four                                                               
years.   Referring  to the  concerns expressed  by the  committee                                                               
regarding the effects  this bill may have on  mining and minerals                                                               
development,  he said  that  it  will still  be  allowed, but  it                                                               
elevates the level of consideration  for DNR when issuing permits                                                               
and evaluating  how an activity  will impact the  primary purpose                                                               
of the  bill.  He  reported that in 2006,  DNR denied a  coal bed                                                               
methane  exploration permit  application.   On appeal  the permit                                                               
request was  altered to allow  for methane exploration only.   In                                                               
addition, within the Kuskokwim area  plan, two riparian corridors                                                               
have been  closed for  20 years  to future  mining.   The primary                                                               
focus of the bill is to  create a proactive management process to                                                               
maintain wildlife  levels in a 4  million acre area; part  of the                                                               
17,000  square miles,  or 11  million acres,  of game  management                                                               
unit  19.   Further, 30  square miles  of unit  19 is  private or                                                               
ANSCA (Alaska  Native Settlement Claims  Act) land.   He compared                                                               
this  area to  others  that ADF&G  has  identified for  intensive                                                               
management (IM), and  suggested that the bill  language may serve                                                               
to  support similar  practices in  other regions.   The  bill has                                                               
been  through a  lengthy public  vetting process,  and widespread                                                               
support  has   been  demonstrated.    Human   harvest  needs  are                                                               
important factors to be addressed as IM areas.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:03:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON asked  whether  the  boards of  fish  or game  have                                                               
rendered an opinion on this bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:03:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROCZICKA said  that the  Board of  Game initially  generated                                                               
this bill, in January, 2006.   At that time, the board had before                                                               
it  a  proposal   to  designate  the  Holitna   a  separate  game                                                               
management  unit.   The support  was  spurred by  an interest  to                                                               
recognize  the productivity  of the  area, and  the proposal  was                                                               
amended to  name Holitna a  refuge.  Eventually, it  was proposed                                                               
at the  spring 2006  board meeting  to have  it named  a reserve.                                                               
Legislation  was  sought,   and  in  the  fall   of  2006,  draft                                                               
legislation  was  introduced.     However,  a  political  impasse                                                               
occurred in 2007, a protocol  impropriety, and the bill foundered                                                               
in committee.  Additionally, in the  spring of 2006, the Board of                                                               
Fish also entertained  a proposal, but it has been  tabled to the                                                               
habitat   committee,  for   lack  of   legislation.     With  the                                                               
introduction  of  new draft  legislation,  the  topic is  on  the                                                               
agenda  for  the   BOF  meeting  scheduled  to   begin  today  in                                                               
Fairbanks.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:08:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ inquired  if  there are  any  areas in  the                                                               
proposed regions  that are actively  managed, and what  does that                                                               
term mean.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:08:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. EARL responded  that since 2004, the area has  been under on-                                                               
going active management.  He deferred  to DOL for a definition of                                                               
the term.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:09:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  explained that  IM is defined,  in statute,  as active                                                               
management designed  to produce high population  levels for human                                                               
harvest.   To accomplish this end,  it specifically, statutorily,                                                               
includes manipulation  of habitat and predator  control for game.                                                               
In order to optimize populations of  fish and game, as with state                                                               
forests,  he  said,  "You  would  probably  expect  to  see  some                                                               
experimentation  done, or  other means,  of active  management in                                                               
this area."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:10:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  asked if IM  is currently  occurring within                                                               
the proposed area.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  responded that  all of the  moose populations  in this                                                               
area have  been identified as  important for IM, and  a temporary                                                               
predator control program is ongoing.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:11:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  surmised that  this legislation  would make                                                               
predator control a permanent program.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY said that it  would not necessarily meant that predator                                                               
control would be made permanent,  but that it could require other                                                               
management   methods,  such   as   habitat,  including   forestry                                                               
manipulation, to be deemed appropriate.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:11:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ asked if the  demographic use of the area is                                                               
known;  how  many  users  outside   of  the  immediate  residents                                                               
benefit.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:12:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY reported that Unit 19B,  the southern half of the area,                                                               
is primarily  used by fly-in,  non-local use.  The  northern half                                                               
of  the area  is the  reverse of  that, being  accessed by  small                                                               
boats, from the local villages.   He stressed that he is speaking                                                               
on game use only.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:13:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  asked  if  this  bill  would  establish  a                                                               
priority for any one user group or type of use.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY replied no, it  establishes production of fish and game                                                               
resources as a priority, but no preference for a user group.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:13:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON turned  to page  2, subsection  (c), line                                                               
23, and  read:   "To fulfill  the purposes  of this  section, the                                                               
Department  of Fish  and Game,  the Board  of Fisheries,  and the                                                               
Board of  Game shall manage  the fish  and game resources  of the                                                               
area to provide  for high levels of human harvest  and, ... shall                                                               
(1) control predation  ..." and asked if this  is not stipulating                                                               
that predator control must be practiced.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAXBY explained  that "shall  manage for  abundance" is  the                                                               
stated  purpose  in  the  mandate,  but  it  doesn't  read  as  a                                                               
requirement of permanent  predator control, if it  isn't going to                                                               
do any good.  If predators  are in check, then female species may                                                               
need to  be harvested to maintain  a population that is  within a                                                               
carrying  capacity.    Different   techniques  are  utilized  for                                                               
various levels of abundance, he pointed out.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON requested a response from ADF&.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  pointed out that Mr.  Saxby is essentially                                                               
assigned to work on this bill by ADF&G.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:15:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked if  this language is compatible with                                                               
the  state  constitution that  stipulates,  "All  uses should  be                                                               
equally protected."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:16:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY referred  to the constitution to quote  from Article 8,                                                               
Section  4,:   "the  management  of  all renewable  resources  is                                                               
'subject  to  preferences among  beneficial  uses.'"   Thus,  the                                                               
legislature  is  authorized, as  it  has  been  in the  past,  to                                                               
designate a beneficial  use of one type of  resource over another                                                               
type of  use.  He provided  an example where the  legislature set                                                               
the timber use  in the state forests as the  preferred use, or in                                                               
the  game sanctuaries  by  designating  preservation of  wildlife                                                               
habitat  as  the preferred  use  and  disallowing hunting.    The                                                               
constitution allows the legislature to define preferred uses.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:17:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON queried whether  the constitution uses the                                                               
term renewable or not.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY,  quoting a  statute from  memory said,  "Fish, forest,                                                               
wildlife, and  other replenishable  and natural  resources, shall                                                               
be maintained according to the  sustained yield principal subject                                                               
to preferences among beneficial uses."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:17:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked whether  this bill will  affect the                                                               
proposed regulations that the Board  of Game is contemplating for                                                               
the designation of guided, big game hunting areas.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAXBY said  that the  game board  is not  making guide  area                                                               
designations.   However, DNR  is considering  a program  to lease                                                               
state lands to  big game guides.  He indicated  that it would not                                                               
interfere, because hunting  is still allowed in the  area and the                                                               
land is owned by the state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:19:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT referred  to the  165 parcels  of private                                                               
land that are adjacent  to Unit 19.  Turning to  page 3, line 19,                                                               
she paraphrased from  the language, which reads:   "Access to and                                                               
from  private property  ... shall  be  guaranteed through  access                                                               
corridors ...  in consultation  with the  Department of  Fish and                                                               
Game  and a  private  property owner."   She  asked  what is  the                                                               
procedure  for the  private land  owners to  have access  via the                                                               
corridors.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY suggested  that DNR could provide the  best response as                                                               
far  as the  specific process,  however, the  language is  nearly                                                               
identical to  other legislation that  has been adopted  for other                                                               
reservations.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:20:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MYLIUS replied that if  language stipulates one department is                                                               
to  consult with  another, the  action is  handled by  the agency                                                               
initiating the consultation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:21:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  said  that  the language  appears  to  be                                                               
restrictive,  and access  may only  be allowed  via a  designated                                                               
corridor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS  explained  that  access   may  be  handled  via  two                                                               
different means.  When a  statute requires that a management plan                                                               
be  prepared, the  access  may be  included in  that  plan.   For                                                               
future access  of a  currently unknown parcel,  such as  a Native                                                               
allotment, the owner would approach  DNR.  In response, DNR would                                                               
consult  with ADF&G,  and an  access route  would be  mapped that                                                               
would have minimal impact on  habitat and animal migrations.  The                                                               
bill  does not  restrict access,  but  ensures that  it would  be                                                               
provided.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY concurred.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:24:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  referred   to  the  previous  testimony                                                               
regarding the methane permit requests that were denied.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS  stated he  would  provide  that information  to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI followed  up, asking  whether this  bill                                                               
would set  the bar  higher for  permits to  explore for  coal bed                                                               
methane.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS  responded yes,  the  bar  would  be raised,  as  the                                                               
wildlife  management would  be prioritized.    Should a  conflict                                                               
arise, the  department would be  required to  err on the  side of                                                               
fish and game management.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:26:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON  inquired what  would  happen  without the  reserve                                                               
being named; would DNR not err on the side of fish and game.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS replied  that in  that  case both  entities would  be                                                               
considered equal.   The decision  would be  made at the  time for                                                               
what  would be  in the  state's  best interest,  and he  provided                                                               
examples regarding how this might work.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:27:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON  surmised that  from  a  practical standpoint,  and                                                               
regarding  the  availability  for non-renewable  resources,  this                                                               
bill would  essentially codify  the natural  order of  how things                                                               
exist today.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS agreed  that  it  is a  fair  statement, because  the                                                               
management plan  already calls  for the  area to  be administered                                                               
for  historical use.    The  bill would  solidify,  or lend  some                                                               
permanence  to  the  management  plan,  as  land  use  plans  are                                                               
administrative actions that can be changed, he pointed out.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON directed  attention to  the map  titled:   Proposed                                                               
Location  of  the  Holitna  River   Basin  Hunting,  Fishing  and                                                               
Trapping reserve.   He asked what percent of the  4 million acres                                                               
might be in play for mineral development.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MYLIUS  indicated that mining  claims exist and may  affect 5                                                               
percent of  the area,  but it  is considered  low potential.   He                                                               
cautioned that  with more  intensive, modern  exploration methods                                                               
mineral deposits may be discovered.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:30:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON  asked if  there is  a means  for the  department to                                                               
obtain  a  better  understanding  of what  exists  in  the  area,                                                               
mineral wise.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MYLIUS  responded that aerial  magnetic mapping is  one means                                                               
for gathering hard rock resource  information.  Oil and gas would                                                               
require exploratory wells, but there  has been no interest in oil                                                               
and gas development of this area.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:31:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON queried  if there  is a  possibility that                                                               
the area might  become a corridor for utilities or  a natural gas                                                               
line.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:32:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MYLIUS reported that it is out  of the area for a natural gas                                                               
line,  however, electrical  transmission lines  would need  to go                                                               
through  the   area,  particularly   if  the  Pebble   Mine  were                                                               
developed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:33:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  interjected  that   there  should  be  no                                                               
conflict  unless   something  were  to  tie   Donlin  and  Pebble                                                               
together.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:34:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  if  anything  in this  legislation                                                               
would prohibit that corridor.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:34:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MYLIUS responded  that it  would not  prohibit, but  may add                                                               
some requirements and stipulations to minimize impacts.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:34:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON inquired about fiscal notes.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:35:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MYLIUS indicated that DNR would have a zero fiscal note.                                                                    
The department would not be required to take any action.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:36:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON announced that HB 227 would be held for further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB227 Sponsor Statement.PDF HFSH 1/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 227
SSHB 227 Sectional.PDF HFSH 1/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 227
HB 227 Support.PDF HFSH 1/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 227
HB 227 - Area Plan Adopted by DNR (1988).PDF HFSH 1/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 227
HB 227 HolitnaMap_01212010.pdf HFSH 1/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 227
HB 227 Game Management Units Map.pdf HFSH 1/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 227
HB 227 Boundaries Overlay Map.pdf HFSH 1/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 227