Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/05/2004 01:19 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 36-MITIGATING GLACIER BAY FISHING CLOSURES                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION NO.  36, Requesting the  National Park                                                               
Service to  mitigate the adverse  economic effects  of commercial                                                               
fishing closures  and restrictions  in Glacier Bay  National Park                                                               
and Preserve.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:30 p.m. to 1:34 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1081                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LINDA SYLVESTER, Staff to  Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented HJR 36 on  behalf of Representative                                                               
Weyhrauch, sponsor.   She explained that  the [federal government                                                               
has  determined]  that Glacier  Bay  National  Park and  Preserve                                                               
would  be  better off  as  a  pristine  area subject  to  extreme                                                               
protection  because  the area  is  considered  to be  a  national                                                               
treasure.   She said  over time,  commercial fishermen  there are                                                               
being precluded and have been  satisfied [monetarily] in terms of                                                               
their phase-out.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER explained that the  purpose of the resolution is to                                                               
request  that  the National  Park  Service  (NPS) obtain  [goods,                                                               
materials, or  vessels that they  need, use, purchase,  or lease]                                                               
for various  reasons including  research, tours,  maintenance, or                                                               
law enforcement  from the  fishermen who  once relied  on Glacier                                                               
Bay  National  Park  and  Preserve for  their  livelihood.    She                                                               
explained that the  resolution doesn't attempt to  dictate to NPS                                                               
how its procurement  process should be carried  out, but requests                                                               
that it consider  the people who have been  impacted in Gustavus,                                                               
Hoonah, and other outlying areas.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1221                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH asked  how NPS  would [determine  which                                                               
individuals have been negatively impacted].                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SYLVESTER  explained  that the  resolution  doesn't  discuss                                                               
that.   It  is a  broad, open-ended  request to  NPS to  consider                                                               
[economic associations with people  who were negatively impacted]                                                               
in the area, rather than  obtaining services and goods outside of                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1257                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  asked whether this resolution  requests that                                                               
the federal government spend money in Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER affirmed  that.  She said it's  specifically in the                                                               
smaller  communities outside  of  Glacier Bay  National Park  and                                                               
Preserve, if possible.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF  asked  Ms.  Sylvester if  she  thought  the                                                               
federal government would listen to the request.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER responded that it can't hurt to ask.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1298                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked if  the reference  to those  who have                                                               
been adversely  affected by the  closures and  restrictions could                                                               
cover  anybody.   He indicated  the language  is broad  and could                                                               
possibly apply to individuals who  are somehow adversely affected                                                               
by the closure, such as recreational fishermen.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER said the resolution  speaks to individuals who once                                                               
operated  in Glacier  Bay  National Park  and  Preserve and  were                                                               
negotiated with.  She suggested  the resolution is narrow in this                                                               
regard;  it is  speaking  to  a small  group  of  people and  the                                                               
communities  they were  a  part of,  which  have been  negatively                                                               
impacted  because there  is no  fishery in  Glacier Bay  National                                                               
Park and Preserve.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1404                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked how many people are being                                                                           
compensated.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SYLVESTER  said she  didn't know.   She said  this resolution                                                               
includes  not   only  captains  and   vessel  owners,   but  also                                                               
crewmembers and shop  owners, and would apply  to the communities                                                               
surrounding Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced that HJR 36 would be held over.                                                                        

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