Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

02/18/2009 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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01:08:26 PM Start
01:08:51 PM Overview: Barley for Fuel
02:10:33 PM HB12
03:00:21 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation by Farm Bureau: TELECONFERENCED
"Barley for Fuel"
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
<Pending Referral>
HB 12-ALASKA COUNCIL ON INVASIVE SPECIES                                                                                      
2:10:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 12, "An  Act establishing the Alaska Council on                                                               
Invasive Species in the Department of Fish and Game."                                                                           
2:10:51 PM                                                                                                                    
JEANNE OSTNES, Staff, Representative  Craig Johnson, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, spoke on behalf  of Representative Johnson, co-prime                                                               
sponsor  of HB  12.    She related  the  2007  story of  invasive                                                               
species arriving  in Alaska in  a plane full of  Christmas trees.                                                               
The  plane's original  destination was  Hawaii, but  when several                                                               
species of non-native wasps and  soil microbes were discovered in                                                               
the cargo,  Hawaii refused  to let  the plane  be unloaded.   The                                                               
flight  was  then diverted  to  Anchorage  where the  trees  were                                                               
unloaded, warehoused,  and then  sold for $40  each.   Within one                                                               
week the  Cooperative Extension Service was  receiving calls from                                                               
people reporting that wasps were in their homes.                                                                                
MS. OSTNES said  this incident brought to light  that Alaska does                                                               
not  have a  policy.   Subsequently,  over 30  state and  federal                                                               
agencies, and private and  non-government organizations, signed a                                                               
memorandum  of  understanding  (MOU)   to  establish  the  Alaska                                                               
Invasive  Species Working  Group (AISWG).   This  group has  been                                                               
working for  two years,  but it cannot  make policy,  she pointed                                                               
out.  Under  HB 12, the Alaska Council on  Invasive Species would                                                               
be  established to  provide a  policy forum  to keep  Alaska from                                                               
becoming like the rest of the U.S.  Council membership would                                                                    
consist of five state commissioners [along with nine other                                                                      
representatives listed in Section 03.22.110].                                                                                   
2:15:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  OSTNES,  on behalf  of  Michele  Hebert, gave  a  PowerPoint                                                               
presentation  prepared by  the  Alaska  Invasive Species  Working                                                               
Group.    She first  pointed  out  that  slide  2 lists  the  MOU                                                               
signatories, then she read slides 3 and 4 of the presentation:                                                                  
     On a national level,  invasive species are estimated to                                                                    
     cause over  1 billion  dollars a year  in environmental                                                                    
     and economic damages.                                                                                                      
     Almost half of  the states in the US have  some sort of                                                                    
     group addressing  all-taxa of invasive species.   These                                                                    
     groups  vary  in  their  composition,  level  of  state                                                                    
     support, structure,  and activity  level.   State based                                                                    
     organizations   can   react    more   efficiently   and                                                                    
     effectively to areas of local concern.                                                                                     
     UAF-CES was initially funded  by the EPA (Environmental                                                                    
     Protection Agency) to coordinate  the development of an                                                                    
     invasive  species  council.     In  2007  it  has  also                                                                    
     received    funds    form   ADF&G,    NMFS/NOAA,    and                                                                    
2:16:39 PM                                                                                                                    
     Alaska  experiences fewer  invaders  than  many of  the                                                                    
     other  states.   The  goal  of  the  AISWG is  to  help                                                                    
     preserve  Alaska's  natural  environment  and  economic                                                                    
     Alaska is  lucky to be  at the beginning of  what could                                                                    
     become  very  expensive  and deleterious  effects  from                                                                    
     invasive  species.    Groups  have  already  formed  to                                                                    
     address  plant invaders,  marine  invasives, and  other                                                                    
     The  Alaska  Invasive  Species Working  Group  aims  to                                                                    
     coordinate  existing  efforts,  and to  protect  Alaska                                                                    
     from invasives species of all taxonomic groups.                                                                            
MS. OSTNES pointed out that  "all taxonomic groups" includes more                                                               
than  just plants  - it  includes invertebrates,  birds, insects,                                                               
microbes, and so forth.                                                                                                         
2:17:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. OSTNES read slide 5 of the presentation:                                                                                    
     The goal  of the Alaska Invasive  Species Working Group                                                                    
     is to  help preserve  Alaska's natural  environment and                                                                    
     economic resources.                                                                                                        
     AISWG's aim  is to coordinate existing  efforts, and to                                                                    
     protect Alaska from all taxonomic groups.                                                                                  
     Increasing effort through coordination!                                                                                    
MS.  OSTNES  noted  that committee  packets  include  a  two-page                                                               
briefing  paper and  the  MOU,  both of  which  were written  for                                                               
legislators as well as the general  public.  Also included in the                                                               
committee packets  are outlines of AISWG's  goals and objectives.                                                               
She  explained  that   AISWG's  monthly  teleconference  meetings                                                               
address a  variety of  different subjects.   Marine,  green crab,                                                               
and tunicate monitoring  groups are in full  swing, she reported.                                                               
There   is  a   listserv  [aisc-l@lists.uaf.edu]   that  provides                                                               
information  to  people  as  it   happens  and  AISWG's  website,                                                               
www.alaskainvasives.org, provides information and links.                                                                        
2:19:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. OSTNES read slide 7 of the presentation:                                                                                    
     AISWG  Marine   Subcommittee.  Monitoring  coordination                                                                    
     teleconferences  have  been  held for  Green  Crab  and                                                                    
     Tunicates.  Sampling  efforts  are on  track  for  this                                                                    
     summer  in  several  locations (Valdez,  Homer,  Sitka,                                                                    
     Juneau, Ketchikan, Gustavus, etc.).                                                                                        
     Smithsonian  Environmental  Research  Center  has  been                                                                    
     working  with both  groups, and  AK DOT  has been  very                                                                    
     helpful in  working toward getting  tunicate monitoring                                                                    
     at selected ferry terminals. The  green crab poster has                                                                    
     been  printed, laminated,  and  is on  its  way out  to                                                                    
     coastal communities.                                                                                                       
MS. OSTNES  listed the invasive  marine species that  are already                                                               
in Alaska [slide 8]:   Atlantic salmon, boring sponge, dead man's                                                               
fingers,  golden star,  rockweed,  and violet  tunicate.   Marine                                                               
species that  are not yet  found in  Alaska, but could  be close,                                                               
are:   Atlantic cord  grass, colonial  tunicate, green  crab, and                                                               
New Zealand mud snail.                                                                                                          
MS. OSTNES noted  that Arctic and red foxes  are invasive mammals                                                               
that were introduced  to 400 islands by fur  merchants during the                                                               
Russian  and territorial  days  [slide  9].   The  U.S. Fish  and                                                               
Wildlife  Service began  eradication  on  uninhabited islands  in                                                               
1949  and now  over 40  islands  are fox  free.   Removal of  fox                                                               
allowed the Aleutian  Cackling Goose to increase  numbers on fox-                                                               
free islands  and be  removed from  the endangered  species list.                                                               
Norway rats,  an invasive  mammal that preys  on bird  eggs, were                                                               
first introduced by ship wrecks and ports in 1780.                                                                              
2:20:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. OSTNES  said handouts have  been prepared and  distributed to                                                               
communities that  show the difference between  Alaska's crabs and                                                               
the European green  crab, an invader that has now  reached as far                                                               
as Vancouver  Island [slide 10].   The green crab  is transported                                                               
via ballast  water and hull  fouling.   It is a  voracious hunter                                                               
that could compete with Dungeness  crab and other native species.                                                               
She related that  the Alaska Department of Fish  & Game estimates                                                               
that up  to 3,000  Atlantic salmon are  present in  Alaska waters                                                               
each year.   This  salmon species is  farmed in  British Columbia                                                               
and  escapees  have spawned  in  at  least one  British  Columbia                                                               
river.  Ms.  Ostnes understood that the  Atlantic salmon escapees                                                               
have  sea  lice, a  problem  that  could affect  Alaska's  native                                                               
MS. OSTNES spoke  about the birch leaf miner  and the defoliation                                                               
of trees  by insects [slide  11].   She said the  animal pathogen                                                               
that causes chronic wasting disease  has not yet been reported in                                                               
Alaska but may be here soon  [slide 12].  The plant pathogen that                                                               
causes late  blight disease  has been  reported in  the Matanuska                                                               
2:22:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  OSTNES read  the opportunities  listed  on slide  13 for  an                                                               
Alaska Invasive Species Council:                                                                                                
    Coordinating   the   state    resources   to   maximize                                                                     
     opportunities to prevent and control invasives.                                                                            
     Organize  and streamline  the  interagency process  for                                                                    
     exclusion, early detection and control.                                                                                    
     To  provide policy  level  direction  and planning  for                                                                    
     managing   invasive   species    and   preventing   the                                                                    
     introduction of others.                                                                                                    
     Foster   coordination,   streamline   approaches   that                                                                    
     support initiative for management.                                                                                         
     Avoiding  program  duplication  by  building  a  strong                                                                    
     collaborative approach.                                                                                                    
     Form  an  advisory  and  subcommittee  with  top  level                                                                    
MS. OSTNES concluded the presentation by reading slide 14:                                                                      
     With the passage  of HB 12 we will be  able to continue                                                                    
     the work  of the  AISWG and strengthen  efforts already                                                                    
2:23:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHELE  HEBERT,  Land  Resources  Agent,  University  of  Alaska                                                               
Fairbanks Cooperative Extension  Service; Member, Alaska Invasive                                                               
Species  Working  Group,  testified   on  behalf  of  the  Alaska                                                               
Invasive  Species  Working Group.    Seventeen  states are  using                                                               
invasive species  councils, she  reported.  Resources  are pooled                                                               
when decision  makers come together  in these councils, so  a lot                                                               
more gets  accomplished at less cost.   That is the  beauty of HB
12,  she   continued.    This  legislation   would  get  Alaska's                                                               
commissioners sitting  together in a forum  where suggestions can                                                               
be made  to them on policy  changes and decisions can  be made on                                                               
how  to share  resources to  make better  use of  money and  make                                                               
things happen more quickly in the state.                                                                                        
MS.  HEBERT   said  the  working   group  has  worked   hard  and                                                               
accomplished  a lot  over the  past  three years.   However,  the                                                               
working  group has  put establishment  of this  council as  a top                                                               
priority because the  group is limited in what it  can do without                                                               
policy decisions.  The councils  in other states have allowed for                                                               
quicker responses in preventing and managing invasive species.                                                                  
2:25:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  asked  what  AISWG's  intentions  are  in                                                               
regard to non-native  timothy and alfalfa planted  by farmers for                                                               
farm animals.                                                                                                                   
MS. HEBERT replied that the real  beauty is the work already done                                                               
by the  Alaska Invasive Species  Working Group and  the Committee                                                               
for Noxious  and Invasive  Plants Management  (CNIPM).   From the                                                               
beginning, everyone,  including farmers, has been  brought to the                                                               
table so that  everyone's concerns are heard.  The  group has met                                                               
for the past  seven or eight years to  develop strategic planning                                                               
for  invasive plants.   In  addition, annual  meetings have  been                                                               
held for six  years.  Therefore, concerns about  certain crops or                                                               
certain plants  are heard.   Farmers are  at the table  and being                                                               
heard, and no  one is threatening to take any  crops away such as                                                               
timothy, rye grass,  or brome.  The target is  not exotic plants,                                                               
the target is invasive species,  such as purple loosestrife, that                                                               
threaten to harm Alaska's wild lands, wetlands, and wildlife.                                                                   
MS. OSTNES interjected that Alaska is a right-to-farm state.                                                                    
MS.  HEBERT  further  explained that  Alaska's  invasive  species                                                               
movement was started by farmers coming  to her office to tell her                                                               
that weeds from  federal lands were blowing onto  their farms and                                                               
they were  having to use extra  herbicides to get the  weeds out.                                                               
The farmers wanted to know what she  was going to do to help them                                                               
tell the  federal agencies  to control those  weeds.   Ms. Hebert                                                               
noted that although she is  testifying as a representative of the                                                               
Alaska  Invasive   Species  Working  Group,  she   has  been  the                                                               
agriculture  and  horticulture  agent for  the  Alaska  Fairbanks                                                               
Cooperative  Extension Service  for  18 years.    Thus, her  main                                                               
concern is with agriculture.                                                                                                    
2:28:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  inquired whether  the state has  anyone at                                                               
its ports to check for invasive species.                                                                                        
MS.  HEBERT responded,  "We are  not adequately  staffed; but  it                                                               
also  may be  that we  don't have  the regulations  to keep  that                                                               
particular insect out of the state of Alaska."                                                                                  
2:29:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  said  she  is appalled  and  thinks  this                                                               
should be  an automatic  part of government.   She  asked whether                                                               
there is any way to take care of this by using private industry.                                                                
MS.  HEBERT said  her  suggestion  is to  bring  all the  players                                                               
together because  the accomplishments  to date are  from everyone                                                               
coming together.  This is the only  way the state will be able to                                                               
keep invasives out,  she continued.  There are  so many different                                                               
land managers  and unless  they come together  to talk  about the                                                               
issues  they cannot  help each  other out.   If  the people  from                                                               
agriculture talked to people from  the U.S. Coast Guard the state                                                               
would be more  likely to catch these things;  otherwise the Coast                                                               
Guard may not know what it  is looking at.  Sitting down together                                                               
and addressing the  issues in a common voice  would provide early                                                               
detection, rapid response, and preventative measures.                                                                           
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN noted that the State  of Alaska does have a plant                                                               
materials center  that looks at  the different seeds  coming into                                                               
the state,  as well as  an inspector  that checks logs  to ensure                                                               
they are clean  for export.  So, the state  has the people there,                                                               
the agencies just need to be funded adequately.                                                                                 
2:31:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI asked  whether creating  another council                                                               
would dilute the  message since there are  already groups dealing                                                               
with this.                                                                                                                      
MS. HEBERT  explained that the  working group has been  held back                                                               
by policy  and has been  unable to impact having  policy changed.                                                               
This  is  the   key,  she  said.    Both  CNIPM   and  AISWG  are                                                               
recommending that decision makers come  together once a year with                                                               
the  ability to  make recommendations  to the  legislature.   The                                                               
working group,  CNIPM, and others  will be the technical  part of                                                               
this process.  Establishing this  council will not take away what                                                               
these groups  are already doing,  it will  just put in  place the                                                               
step that is missing in the process.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN added  that this  will be  discussed during  the                                                               
committee process.                                                                                                              
MS. HEBERT, in further response  to Representative Kawasaki, said                                                               
the  proposed   council  would  be   for  making   policy  change                                                               
recommendations and the sharing of  resources.  The bill also has                                                               
additional provisions  for subcommittees and technical  groups as                                                               
needed to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.                                                                             
2:34:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  noted that the Municipality  of Anchorage is                                                               
very strict  in its  rat prevention  policy.   He said  he thinks                                                               
Anchorage is  the only  port in the  U.S. that is  rat free.   He                                                               
inquired as to whether the  council would coordinate with or take                                                               
over  other programs,  or would  the  council establish  policies                                                               
that local government and communities would then implement.                                                                     
MS. HEBERT  answered that  the council  would not  be controlling                                                               
any government entity or city.   It would utilize AISWG and CNIPM                                                               
for  guidance.     For  example,  the  working   group  has  been                                                               
addressing rat  control and  as a result  there have  been multi-                                                               
agency  projects  to  control  rats   in  the  Aleutian  Islands.                                                               
Because  everyone is  coming  together  in meetings,  identifying                                                               
which  agencies need  to get  involved and  how resources  can be                                                               
shared, a much better job has  been done in controlling rats.  On                                                               
the same hand, this group is  not telling each agency what to do,                                                               
it is just sharing ideas.   The frustration is that the people in                                                               
the  group  are  regular  people, not  decision  makers,  so  the                                                               
council is being  seen as an opportunity to  share resources with                                                               
the decision makers.                                                                                                            
2:37:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  asked  whether   HB  12  creates  any                                                               
enforcement authority to actually  do anything such as inspecting                                                               
imported agricultural products or trees.                                                                                        
MS. HEBERT  replied, "I think  the council  is the powers  to be,                                                               
but  the work  horses  who identify  and send  things  up to  the                                                               
council  would be  the working  group."   For example,  the birch                                                               
leaf  miner  is a  new  invasive  from  Europe.   It  arrived  in                                                               
landscape materials delivered to  the Fairbanks military base and                                                               
now it is a  problem in the Interior.  She  continued, "We have a                                                               
lot of  people who are work  horses, like myself, who  know there                                                               
is a problem,  but we are not decision makers,  we are not higher                                                               
level  people, and  our hands  are  totally tied."   The  working                                                               
group  would  bring these  issues  to  the  council so  the  five                                                               
commissioners - the  decision makers - could act on  it.  "Unless                                                               
we  have the  different  departments talking  to  each other,  we                                                               
can't really work together," she said.                                                                                          
2:40:50 PM                                                                                                                    
LORI  ZAUMSEIL,   Co-founder,  Citizens  Against   Noxious  Weeds                                                               
Invading the  North (CANWIN); Coordinator,  Anchorage Cooperative                                                               
Weed Management Area,  testified on behalf of CANWIN.   In regard                                                               
to whether  the council  that would  be established  by HB  12 is                                                               
really needed, she  offered her view that the council  would be a                                                               
state supported,  sanctioned, and recognized entity,  whereas the                                                               
other  groups are  citizens with  no state  recognition.   Alaska                                                               
really needs a  formal program, she stressed.   For example, when                                                               
AISWG was formalized by House Bill  330, a huge window was opened                                                               
to  receive  federal funding.    In  regard to  non-natives  like                                                               
timothy  and alfalfa,  Ms. Zaumseil  clarified  that neither  the                                                               
invasive weeds  group nor the  invasive species group  is talking                                                               
about  targeting non-natives;  they are  talking about  invasive,                                                               
noxious species -  one is not necessarily the other.   Being non-                                                               
native does not make something invasive.                                                                                        
MS. ZAUMSEIL  paraphrased from  her prepared  statement [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Last year, the first vital  steps were taken to protect                                                                    
     Alaska's  economy,  ecology  and environment  from  the                                                                    
     devastation  of  noxious weeds.    Troy  and I  had  no                                                                    
     experience with  the political  process, but  were very                                                                    
     gratified  by the  unanimous response  to [House  Bill]                                                                    
     330.     When  Representative  Johnson   proposed  that                                                                    
     legislation, we  vowed to dedicate our  time and effort                                                                    
     to   making  people   understand   the  importance   of                                                                    
     developing this  statewide response and why  it was the                                                                    
     fiscally  responsible  thing  for  their  senators  and                                                                    
     representatives to do.   We have spoken  to many local,                                                                    
     state and national audiences  about Alaska's fight with                                                                    
     invasives and  met experts  fighting the  same problems                                                                    
     in  other   states  that  threaten  Alaska.     Without                                                                    
     exception,  we hear  the same  message--that Alaska  is                                                                    
     America's last  chance to  do it  right and  not suffer                                                                    
     the tens of  millions of dollars in  expense and losses                                                                    
     due to invasive  species, but that is  only possible if                                                                    
     we act quickly and  aggressively while the advantage is                                                                    
     still ours  to take.   HB12 is the next  important step                                                                    
     in  the  process.   This  legislation  needs your  vote                                                                    
     today and as it moves  forward, but in addition, Alaska                                                                    
     and  her citizens  need your  continued support  as the                                                                    
     agencies and people  on the ground work  to prevent and                                                                    
     control  invasive  species  from  impacting  our  Great                                                                    
2:45:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  said  his  concern  is  whether  this                                                               
council will have  enough muscle when a problem  is identified to                                                               
do what needs to be done.                                                                                                       
MS. ZAUMSEIL responded that the  council would bring together all                                                               
of  the  agency   people  who  have  the  ability   to  make  the                                                               
regulations - those regulations would  provide the muscle.  Plus,                                                               
all of  these decision makers  sitting at  the table with  all of                                                               
the interest groups is muscle in  itself, she added.  The council                                                               
would make  recommendations and give  power to agencies  like the                                                               
Division of Agriculture and the  Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                               
to explain  why a certain  regulation is  needed so that  when it                                                               
goes  out  for public  comment  the  public will  understand  and                                                               
support the regulation.                                                                                                         
2:47:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  presented an example of  northern pike                                                               
being collected  in one place  in Alaska and released  in another                                                               
location where it is an invasive.   Will Alaska State Troopers or                                                               
other agency have the authority to stop that action, he asked.                                                                  
MS. ZAUMSEIL  said she is  not really  the person to  answer this                                                               
question.  However, she understood  that the Alaska Department of                                                               
Fish  & Game  recently  passed  a regulation  that  makes this  a                                                               
fineable action.                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON offered his belief  that this was addressed several                                                               
years ago in legislation that  gave the Alaska Department of Fish                                                               
& Game enforcement power in matters like this.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON explained that  the commissioners will write the                                                               
regulations.   He pointed  out that when  a regulation  is needed                                                               
that requires legislation, Alaska's  commissioners have a history                                                               
of not being  bashful about coming to the legislature  to ask for                                                               
the needed legislation.  It is  much better to have things bubble                                                               
up from  the community than to  have things bubble down  from the                                                               
legislature and this is what HB 12 addresses, he said.                                                                          
2:49:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON,  in regard to council  membership [page 2,                                                               
line  9, Section  03.22.110], asked  whether there  is a  need to                                                               
have federal land and water managers  on the council, such as the                                                               
U.S. Coast  Guard, U.S. Fish  and Wildlife Service,  and National                                                               
Park Service.   In addition,  he suggested that it  be researched                                                               
as to  whether a  tribal council  should be  included on  page 6,                                                               
line 8.                                                                                                                         
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN urged  Representative  Edgmon to  work with  the                                                               
sponsor in regard to his suggestions.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON said he wanted to make these comments                                                                     
while everyone is on line.                                                                                                      
2:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
DAN  GILSON, Project  Manager, Oil  Spill  Prevention &  Response                                                               
Operations,  Prince  William  Sound  Regional  Citizens  Advisory                                                               
Council,  spoke from  the following  written statement  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     The [Prince  William Sound Regional  Citizens Advisory]                                                                    
     Council is a non-profit  whose mission is promoting the                                                                    
     environmentally safe operation  of the Alyeska terminal                                                                    
     and  associated  tankers.    The  Council's  18  member                                                                    
     organizations are  communities in the Exxon  Valdez oil                                                                    
     spill impact  region, as well as  business, recreation,                                                                    
     tourism,  commercial  fishing, Native  and  aquaculture                                                                    
     Because  of  our  concerns regarding  invasive  species                                                                    
     arriving in the ballast water  attached to the hulls of                                                                    
     tankers, we are  here today to support HB  12, the bill                                                                    
     to create an invasive species council.                                                                                     
     This legislation  is vital in  helping to  help protect                                                                    
     Alaska environments  and economies  from the  threat of                                                                    
     invasion by harmful non-indigenous  organisms.  We must                                                                    
     act now in order to avoid a potential catastrophe.                                                                         
     The  purpose  of the  council  would  be to  provide  a                                                                    
     coordinated, multi-stakeholder  approach for addressing                                                                    
     the potential  risks of harmful invasive  organisms and                                                                    
     agents  throughout   the  state  and  to   work  toward                                                                    
     preventing  the   future  introduction  of   other  new                                                                    
     invasive organisms and agents to the state.                                                                                
     The minor amount  of money spent annually  on a council                                                                    
     could save  us billions  of dollars in  lost economies,                                                                    
     environments  and  industries   in  addition  to  costs                                                                    
     associated with  controlling invasions.   Just  look at                                                                    
     the  situation  with the  zebra  mussels  in the  Great                                                                    
     Lakes.   The government estimates that  economic losses                                                                    
     and  control efforts  cost the  United States  about $5                                                                    
     billion each year.                                                                                                         
     A  more immediate  threat to  Alaska Coastlines  is the                                                                    
     European Green  Crab.  Green crabs  eat clams, oysters,                                                                    
     mussels, marine  worms and  small crustaceans  that are                                                                    
     important  foods for  native  species.   This  invasive                                                                    
     crab  has marched  its way  up  the west  coast of  the                                                                    
     United  States and  has invaded  Vancouver Island  most                                                                    
     recently.   It is  not a  matter of  "if" we  get green                                                                    
     crabs, but  "where and when."   To give you an  idea of                                                                    
     the  economic  devastation  posed by  the  green  crab,                                                                    
     which is also invasive to  the East Coast of the United                                                                    
     States,  the estimated  total losses  due to  the green                                                                    
     crab  on the  East  Coast during  1975-2005 range  from                                                                    
     $719  to $806  million.   Although economic  impacts to                                                                    
     the   West   Coast   are   negligible   under   current                                                                    
     conditions, the  West Coast  impacts could  increase to                                                                    
     almost a  million dollars  per year  if the  green crab                                                                    
     were to  spread up to  Alaska.   And we do  expect this                                                                    
     spread to  makes it way to  Alaska.  We know  the crabs                                                                    
     can survive and establish themselves in our waters.                                                                        
     There  are  numerous  threats to  Alaska  in  terms  of                                                                    
     invasive  species and  just as  many horror  stories of                                                                    
     these  species   taking  over  environments   in  other                                                                    
     states.    Another  real threat  to  Alaska  is  Purple                                                                    
     [Loosestrife] which  has been found in  the Westchester                                                                    
     Lagoon area  in Anchorage.   This plant can  produce up                                                                    
     to  2.7  million seeds  per  plant  yearly and  spreads                                                                    
     across  approximately  1  million additional  acres  of                                                                    
     wetlands  each   year,  with  an  economic   impact  of                                                                    
     millions  of dollars.   A  coordinated local  effort in                                                                    
     Anchorage has been on top  of that infestation, but one                                                                    
     can  easily see  how  a broader  coordinated effort  is                                                                    
     needed to proactively deal with these issues.                                                                              
     At this moment in time,  Alaska is relatively free from                                                                    
     invasive species.  Contrary to  a popular  myth, Alaska                                                                    
     is not  isolated as it receives  significant amounts of                                                                    
     air, water, and land traffic.   Also, climate change is                                                                    
     making conditions in Alaska  more favorable for harmful                                                                    
     invasive species.                                                                                                          
     Unless  Alaska takes  a proactive  stance, Alaska  will                                                                    
     suffer the same  fate as other states  dealing with the                                                                    
     management of  harmful invasive species.   Formation of                                                                    
     a  council  to  develop a  strategic  plan,  coordinate                                                                    
     efforts, and share information is  essential to be able                                                                    
     to  take   advantage  of  funding   opportunities  only                                                                    
     available  to such  coordinated  entities.   The  minor                                                                    
     amount  of money  spent on  a council  annual will  pay                                                                    
     dividends in the significant amount  of money not spent                                                                    
     on managing weeds, pests and other critters.                                                                               
     I urge you to support this bill.                                                                                           
2:54:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR NEUMAN interjected that Tom Lawson, Director, Division                                                                 
of Administrative Services, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, is                                                                
available to speak to the fiscal note.                                                                                          
2:55:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SUE   ELY,  Legislative   and   Communications  Manager,   Alaska                                                               
Conservation  Alliance,  said her  group  is  a coalition  of  40                                                               
Alaska  conservation  organizations.    She  testified  from  the                                                               
following written statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                    
     I would like to thank  you for the opportunity to speak                                                                    
     in support of HB12,  establishing the Alaska Council on                                                                    
     Invasive Species in the Department of Fish and Game.                                                                       
     Alaska is  home to  an amazing  abundance of  plant and                                                                    
     animal  life.   Whether valued  as charismatic  Alaskan                                                                    
     icons, or as  the source of our  continued economic and                                                                    
     subsistence  prosperity, Alaska's  flora and  fauna are                                                                    
     vital to our economic well  being [and Alaska's] way of                                                                    
     life.  However, these  resources could be threatened by                                                                    
     the spread of invasive species.                                                                                            
     Already  Alaska has  suffered the  effects of  invasive                                                                    
     Atlantic Salmon, pike and Reed  Canary grass, to name a                                                                    
     few.      Plants,   animals,  fish   and   crustaceans,                                                                    
     introduced into an environment  devoid of their natural                                                                    
     predators and  limitations can irreversibly  destroy an                                                                    
     ecosystem  and  that  destruction  can  translate  into                                                                    
     direct  monetary,   cultural  and   lifestyle  impacts.                                                                    
     Invasive species have cost  lower 48 economies billions                                                                    
     of dollars in revenue.  In  order for Alaska to avoid a                                                                    
     similar fate, it is prudent to address this issue now.                                                                     
     I believe the 14-member  Council will provide the broad                                                                    
     stakeholder   cooperation  and   oversight  needed   to                                                                    
     prevent  new  invasive  species  from  taking  root  in                                                                    
     Alaska and to mitigate  the damage of invasives already                                                                    
     introduced.      At   risk  are   Alaska's   biological                                                                    
     treasures;  its   harvest  resources   and  subsistence                                                                    
     plants and animals; the beauty  and diversity that make                                                                    
     Alaska a  world-class tourist destination.   It  is our                                                                    
     understanding  and our  hope that  the least  amount of                                                                    
     the  least  toxic management  tools  would  be used  to                                                                    
     control marine invasive species  and that pesticides be                                                                    
     used only as a last resort.                                                                                                
     The Alaska  Conservation Alliance  would like  to thank                                                                    
     you for  this opportunity to  voice our support  for HB
     12  and encourage  you to  pass  this bill  out of  the                                                                    
     [House Resources Standing Committee].                                                                                      
2:57:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN  introduced  several state  and  federal  agency                                                               
personnel  in   attendance,  including  Gino   Graziano,  Natural                                                               
Resources  Specialist II,  Department of  Natural Resources,  who                                                               
was hired last year as a result  of House Bill 330 that created a                                                               
state coordinator position for noxious  weed, invasive plant, and                                                               
agricultural pest management and education.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  pointed  out  that  the  House  Resources                                                               
Standing  Committee  passed [House  Bill  330]  last year,  which                                                               
demonstrates  that  the  committee shares  the  public's  concern                                                               
about invasive species.  He  therefore requested that people help                                                               
the committee by  keeping their comments to the context  of HB 12                                                               
and the process  of using the proposed council as  written in the                                                               
3:00:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NEUMAN held  HB 12.   He  urged people  to talk  to the                                                               
director  of the  Division  of Agriculture  and  the director  of                                                               
invasive species to  learn what has already been done  and how HB
12 would compliment the actions taken to date.                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
00 HB0012A.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
00 Sectional HB12.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
00 Sponsor Stmt ACIS.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
02 R10 IS Assessment.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
03 2008-12 NIS Mgmt Plan.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
04 Facts IS-AK.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
04 XmasTrees/insects.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
05 UOCS re AK.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
06 UOCS re AK large.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
07 Fed Leg Sen Levin.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
01 Presentation AIS Working Group .ppt HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
02 Presentation Other States IS .ppt HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
08 AK IS MOU-2-2007.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
08 flyer aiswg 2pg.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
08 Obama support Fed Leg .pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
09 Cost Federal.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
09 Cost Maine.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
09 Cost Programs WA & OR.PDF HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
10 NISC in AK.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
11 Species Identified.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS AISC.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS AK C A.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS AKCANWIN .pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS CNIPM Board.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS NOAA .pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS NRCDB.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS PWSRCAC.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
12 LOS Sen Begich.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
13 Climate Change.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Fiscal Note.HB 12.DEC.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Fiscal Note.HB 12.DFG.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Fiscal Note.HB 12.DNR.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Fiscal Note.HB 12.HSS.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
HB 12 docs 2.18.09.jpg HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Fiscal Note.HB 12.UA.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Presentation on Barley biomass .ppt HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Testify-Ely.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Testify-Gilson gr.crab.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12
Testify-Zaumseil.pdf HRES 2/18/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 12