Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

03/25/2015 06:00 PM House RESOURCES

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06:10:50 PM Start
06:11:45 PM HB137
08:08:31 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 137(RES) Out of Committee
-- Invited/Public Testimony --
           HB 137-HUNTING, SPORT FISH, TRAPPING FEES                                                                        
6:11:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TALERICO  announced that the  only order of  business is                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  137, "An  Act  raising certain  fees related  to                                                               
sport  fishing,  hunting,  and   trapping;  raising  the  age  of                                                               
eligibility  for a  sport fishing,  hunting, or  trapping license                                                               
exemption  for state  residents  to 65  years  of age;  requiring                                                               
state  residents  to  purchase  big game  tags  to  take  certain                                                               
species;  and providing  for  an effective  date."   [Before  the                                                               
committee was  Version N, the proposed  committee substitute (CS)                                                               
labeled  29-LS0625\N, Bullard,  3/16/15, adopted  as the  working                                                               
document on 3/20/15.]                                                                                                           
6:12:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TALERICO opened public testimony.                                                                                      
TED  WELLMAN,  President,  Kenai River  Special  Management  Area                                                               
Advisory (KRSMA)  Board, testified that the  KRSMA Board supports                                                               
the adoption of  a sockeye salmon stamp for inclusion  in HB 137.                                                               
He pointed out  that the advisory board is  a statutorily created                                                               
board  that includes  state and  federal  agencies as  non-voting                                                               
members, as  well as  the cities  of Kenai  and Soldotna  and the                                                               
Kenai Peninsula Borough.   He said the proposal for  a user stamp                                                               
has been  under consideration by the  board for many years.   The                                                               
December 1997 Kenai River  Comprehensive Management Plan contains                                                               
such a  recommendation.  River  boat traffic and on-bank  use has                                                               
grown  exponentially since  1997.   The  primary  reason for  the                                                               
increased  use is  a  growing harvest  of  sockeye salmon,  which                                                               
imposes significant  burden on enforcement agencies  and stresses                                                               
the  environment  and  habitat   throughout  the  entire  system.                                                               
Accordingly,  the  KRSMA  Board  identified  the  adoption  of  a                                                               
sockeye salmon stamp this year  as a priority to provide adequate                                                               
resources to  handle the  burden imposed  by this  sockeye salmon                                                               
fishery.   Because the  matter has arisen  sooner than  the KRSMA                                                               
Board had anticipated,  it has had no opportunity to  look at the                                                               
details  of  adopting  a  sockeye salmon  stamp.    However,  the                                                               
proposal  that has  been supported  before  in testimony  talking                                                               
about making a  Kenai sockeye salmon stamp be much  like the king                                                               
salmon stamp with the same  rates and conditions appears to serve                                                               
the  board's  objectives  as  long  as  the  money  generated  is                                                               
returned to  the river and  its use  is not unduly  restricted on                                                               
the agencies  so the habitat  can actually be protected  and hire                                                               
adequate enforcement  to deal with  the many  flagrant violations                                                               
of regulations that occurs during the sockeye salmon fishery.                                                                   
6:15:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WELLMAN,  responding to Representative Tarr,  stated that the                                                               
name of  his organization is  the Kenai River  Special Management                                                               
Area and  it is the advisory  board.  He explained  that when the                                                               
park was  created, an advisory  board was created in  statute and                                                               
he is  presently serving  as the  president of  that board.   The                                                               
board's  mission under  the legislation  is to  advise state  and                                                               
federal agencies,  municipalities, and the legislature  on issues                                                               
affecting the  Kenai River and  [the sockeye salmon issue]  is an                                                               
important issue that the board feels very strongly about.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  posed a scenario in  which someone from                                                               
Anchorage is fishing the second run  of sockeye in early July and                                                               
there is a  limit of three sockeye  per day.  He  asked what that                                                               
person would pay [under the KRSMA Board's proposal].                                                                            
MR.  WELLMAN replied  the person  would  have to  have a  fishing                                                               
license and  would pay the resident  stamp of $20, much  like the                                                               
person would do if fishing for  king salmon.  Much of the traffic                                                               
on  the river  comes  from Anchorage,  with  people often  making                                                               
multiple trips during the season rather than one three-day trip.                                                                
6:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE CONNORS, Lodge Owner, stated he  is a 40-year resident of the                                                               
Kenai  Peninsula and  is  a  member of  the  Kenai River  Special                                                               
Management  Area  Advisory (KRSMA)  Board,  but  is speaking  for                                                               
himself as a lodge owner and a  guide on the Kenai River for over                                                               
35 years.  Addressing HB 137  in its entirety, he said it's about                                                               
time the  state adjusts its  fees for  the various fish  and game                                                               
activities.   He said he  would like  to speak especially  to the                                                               
inclusion of a  sockeye salmon stamp and model it  after the king                                                               
salmon  stamp;   for  example,  one-day,   three-day,  seven-day,                                                               
fourteen-day, and  annual stamps for nonresidents,  and residents                                                               
would buy  a stamp  for the  entire season just  like they  buy a                                                               
fishing license.   The incredible  increase in use of  the middle                                                               
river  where he  lives has  put a  lot of  burden on  the various                                                               
state departments  and federal agencies.   People  are everywhere                                                               
and in places they  never would have been five years  ago.  It is                                                               
reasonable to  expect them to pay  some money so the  habitat and                                                               
infrastructure can be taken care of  and to have enforcement.  He                                                               
said  he seriously  recommends the  stamp,  although the  details                                                               
have not  yet been  worked out  as to how  the funding  would get                                                               
from ADF&G to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).                                                                        
6:19:31 PM                                                                                                                    
GORDON CARLSON said  he supports raising the  hunting and fishing                                                               
license fees,  but opposes putting  a price on moose  and caribou                                                               
tags because people rely on those  animals for food.  He added he                                                               
might be able to understand raising  or putting a price on sheep,                                                               
musk oxen,  or buffalo  that are  more of a  sport hunt  versus a                                                               
hunt  for  sustenance.   Fees  possibly  need  to be  raised  for                                                               
nonresidents  coming to  Alaska  to hunt  because  that is  sport                                                               
hunting rather than relying on the meat as a food source.                                                                       
6:20:43 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  FITHIAN  testified  he  has  been  actively  involved  in                                                               
Alaska's mineral,  forestry, professional guide,  and agriculture                                                               
industries for many  years.  He said he is  currently serving his                                                               
third  term   on  the  federal  Wildlife   and  Hunting  Heritage                                                               
Conservation  Council  where  he  represents  the  United  States                                                               
relative to the guide, outfitter,  and tourism industries as they                                                               
pertain  to  hunting.    He  also  serves  on  numerous  governor                                                               
appointments to the Wrangell-St.  Elias National Park Subsistence                                                               
Resource Commission.   He stated he fully supports HB  137 in its                                                               
original  text,   but  understands  there  are   substitutes  and                                                               
amendments  that  he hasn't  seen.    In particular,  he  opposes                                                               
increasing nonresident  big game  tags by  100 percent.   Without                                                               
question, this amount of increase  will impact his family's long-                                                               
time  established  professional  guide  service  of  striving  to                                                               
conduct long-term,  quality wilderness,  multiple-species, safari                                                               
style  hunts.   Current  nonresident  hunters  using his  service                                                               
spend  $2,000 on  licensing  and the  proposed  amendment of  100                                                               
percent  would  require  them  to   spend  $4,000.    This  would                                                               
negatively impact  his ability to  book hunters and  compete with                                                               
comparable hunts  at lower rates  with better  quality provisions                                                               
in  other  countries.    Since his  guide  service  is  primarily                                                               
provided on  state lands,  his clients already  have to  agree to                                                               
hunt in the most poorly managed  land base that exists in Alaska.                                                               
A 100  percent increase would  require them  to pay for  the vast                                                               
majority of  Alaska's wildlife conservation measures  in exchange                                                               
for being treated to the  most disrespectful industry stewardship                                                               
imaginable.  There is currently no  limit on the amount of impact                                                               
on wildlife  conservation by the professional  guide industry; no                                                               
protection for these  nonresident hunters to have  a quality hunt                                                               
or  to protect  Alaska's delicate  social atmospheres  related to                                                               
subsistence  and  general resident  hunters.    Guiding on  state                                                               
lands has a  much greater amount of law  enforcement issues which                                                               
visiting sportsmen and  sportswomen are exposed to,  and the list                                                               
goes on.   Alaska is long  overdue for license fee  increases for                                                               
both residents and  nonresidents.  Many thousands  of Alaskan are                                                               
willing to  pay for the  privilege of  hunting in this  state and                                                               
would be  pleased to  contribute to  the North  American Wildlife                                                               
Conservation Model,  the greatest model of  wildlife conservation                                                               
the world  has ever known.   To take  this desire away  from them                                                               
and Alaska  for political  reasons is not  fair or  respectful to                                                               
the whole.  As the committee  knows, several years ago he drafted                                                               
a  very comparable  bill  to  HB 137,  which  had broad  spectrum                                                               
support from every  resident hunter that it was exposed  to.  But                                                               
when he  shopped it  for a sponsor  within the  legislature there                                                               
was opposition to  including resident hunters in  any respect for                                                               
increased fees.   He encouraged the committee to  help Alaska and                                                               
ADF&G with this  bill and to include respect  and fairness within                                                               
it  by  including  resident license  fees  instead  of  providing                                                               
residents with  a continued free  ride at someone  else's expense                                                               
and  by  establishing no  more  than  a  50 percent  increase  in                                                               
nonresident  big  game tags.    Additionally,  he requested  that                                                               
language  be  incorporated in  the  bill  for  the concept  of  a                                                               
sportsmen's  license  that  includes  big  game  tags,  fish  and                                                               
waterfowl  stamps, and  development of  electronic licensing  and                                                               
recording for ADF&G.                                                                                                            
6:24:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  requested  Mr.  Fithian  to  elaborate                                                               
further on his statement about "most disrespectful."                                                                            
MR. FITHIAN answered  that to guide on state lands  all he has to                                                               
do  is  walk into  the  Anchorage  office  of the  Department  of                                                               
Natural Resources, pay $500, and walk  out.  It takes about three                                                               
minutes and he  is then licensed to guide an  unlimited amount of                                                               
hunters  on any  of the  state lands  where he  is authorized  to                                                               
guide within his guide license  and guide use area registrations.                                                               
There is nothing  stopping however many hundreds  or thousands of                                                               
hunters  to be  booked by  professional guides  to hunt  on state                                                               
lands.   Historically  there  were  restrictions on  geographical                                                               
regions and the number of guides,  but that is no longer the case                                                               
and so  there are impacts on  state lands, the resources,  and on                                                               
the  delicate social  atmosphere  with  subsistence and  resident                                                               
hunters;  it is  a  free-for-all  on state  lands.   The  federal                                                               
agencies  gave  the  state  a  number of  years  to  remedy  that                                                               
situation, which  the state  didn't do.   The  federal government                                                               
has  taken  control  of  its  lands  with  respectful  concession                                                               
programs  that provide  for protection  for the  visiting hunters                                                               
and the stewardship of the resources.   Thus, a fee increase is a                                                               
slap in the  face to those hunters choosing to  hunt in Alaska on                                                               
state lands.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR asked  whether Mr.  Fithian participates  in                                                               
any of the  hunting organizations that testified in  favor of the                                                               
100 percent increase in nonresident fees.                                                                                       
MR. FITHIAN  replied he is a  long-time member and leader  of the                                                               
Alaska Professional Hunters  Association, but unfortunately there                                                               
was no opportunity  for membership to weigh in on  this issue due                                                               
to conflicting programs,  such as the Board of Game.   Had he had                                                               
the opportunity he would have  tried to encourage a lesser amount                                                               
of fee increase  than 100 percent for nonresident  big game tags.                                                               
The rest of the increases look pretty reasonable for Alaska.                                                                    
6:28:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MITCH FALK  said he supports the  bill to raise the  license fees                                                               
for residents and nonresidents.  It  is time to take advantage of                                                               
the  Pittman-Robertson funds  that are  available, he  testified,                                                               
rather than  leaving them on the  table by not raising  the fees.                                                               
It is  also probably time  to start charging  $10 for a  moose or                                                               
caribou tag.  The cost for  a 13-inch pepperoni pizza is the same                                                               
as for  hunting a  moose, he  pointed out.   It is  also probably                                                               
time to curtail the issuing  of lifetime hunting licenses.  Close                                                               
to  60,000 or  70,000  of those  have been  issued  and like  the                                                               
Longevity Bonus it is time to sunset those.                                                                                     
6:29:46 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBERTA  HIGHLAND  stated  she is  supporting  an  amendment  but                                                               
doesn't see the  exact writing of what she is  advocating.  While                                                               
she has  an amendment that  she prefers to  HB 137, she  said she                                                               
does  support HB  137 because  license fees  seem really  low for                                                               
what is  received and she definitely  supports increasing license                                                               
fees.   She  suggested there  be a  wildlife conservation  emblem                                                               
program and  proposed that Section  1 of AS 16.05.130  be amended                                                               
by adding  language directing  that money  accruing to  the state                                                               
from  Alaska's  fish  and wildlife  conservation  emblem  program                                                               
shall be deposited into the fish  and game fund and shall be used                                                               
by the  department for conservation programs,  including viewing,                                                               
education, and diversity.  She  further suggested that Section 2,                                                               
AS  16.05,  be  amended  by  adding  a  new  section:    "Section                                                               
16.05xxx,  contributions  to  the   Alaska's  fish  and  wildlife                                                               
conservation   emblem  program   and  that's   also  the   Alaska                                                               
Department  of Fish  & Game  shall  develop a  fish and  wildlife                                                               
conservation  emblem; persons  may contribute  any amount  to the                                                               
fish and  wildlife conservation emblem  program and may  elect to                                                               
receive  a certificate,  decal, or  other recognition  offered by                                                               
the department for  a contribution of $20  or more; contributions                                                               
and  sale  proceeds  of  items  bearing  the  fish  and  wildlife                                                               
conservation   emblem   will   benefit  the   programs   per   AS                                                               
16.05.130(g)."  So, she noted, it  is a little bit different than                                                               
what has  been put  in for  a fish  and game  conservation decal.                                                               
They  sound somewhat  similar  but she  is looking  at  it for  a                                                               
wildlife conservation  emblem program  and this  is to  allow the                                                               
viewing people to  be counted.  Viewing brings  in $2.750 billion                                                               
and hunting brings  in $1.326 billion, she  reported, with 18,820                                                               
jobs for  viewing versus  8,400 for  hunting.   It is  a sensible                                                               
idea  for the  state to  attempt to  get some  funding from  this                                                               
large number of viewers, a  lot of conservation people would like                                                               
to  pay  into something  like  this  so  they can  be  supporting                                                               
conservation along with the hunting and fishing.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TALERICO requested Ms.  Highland to submit her suggested                                                               
amendment by email.                                                                                                             
6:33:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  TINKER said  he  has  resided in  Ester  for  50 years  and                                                               
supports the concept  of raising license and tag fees.   He noted                                                               
that AS 16.05.130(d) requires the  expenditure of license and tag                                                               
fees  for department  programs intended  to directly  benefit the                                                               
purchasers of  general hunting,  trapping, and  fishing licenses.                                                               
He said  he realizes the point  of the legislation is  to replace                                                               
some of  the general funds now  used by [the divisions  of] sport                                                               
fish and wildlife  conservation.  He asked how it  is possible to                                                               
charge more fees without defining  a benefit for those paying the                                                               
fees.   General funds are  not required  to be used  for programs                                                               
directly  benefitting  the  license  purchasers.   He  urged  the                                                               
committee to  look at the  increases from the perspective  of the                                                               
hunters, trappers, and fishers who  asking what they will get for                                                               
the additional cost.  He urged  the committee to request that the                                                               
department answer this  question in detail.  In  that answer will                                                               
be found  either support  for the increases  or a  groundswell of                                                               
opposition against HB 137.  When  he undertook an estimate of the                                                               
revenue from  increased fees, he  discovered that  the department                                                               
tracks  49 different  types of  licenses.   He said  his estimate                                                               
shows it's  impossible to  replace all  the general  funds, which                                                               
leaves the question  of whether a formula is  being discussed for                                                               
how much  of the new  revenue to leave in  the fund and  how much                                                               
general funds can  be replaced.  He understood the  intent is not                                                               
to further cut the department's  programs, but hunters, trappers,                                                               
and fishers  are trying to  get some feeling of  cost/benefit for                                                               
the  increases that  they  will  pay and  thus  far  there is  no                                                               
information to  that purpose.  Even  the "self-proclaimed hunting                                                               
leadership" who testified [on March  20, 2015,] were very careful                                                               
not  to  say anything  about  the  use  of  new money,  which  he                                                               
suspects was  in the hope that  the legislature would put  it all                                                               
in the fish  and game fund.  At best,  he stated, that leadership                                                               
represents less  than 10 percent  of the license holders  and the                                                               
other  90 percent  has  yet to  be  heard from.    He urged  that                                                               
members have caution  when listening to people  testifying on the                                                               
bill.   Some  "what-ifs" need  to  be considered.   For  example,                                                               
there are  less than 1,100  actual trapping licenses  and another                                                               
9,300  are part  of multiple  license packages.   The  low income                                                               
portion for trapping  doesn't change under the present  bill.  If                                                               
the trapping  license portion increases, residents  can save that                                                               
additional money by  not buying the multiple licenses.   Thus, if                                                               
the money  from trapping  licenses goes  on to  support furbearer                                                               
programs,  money  could be  lost  under  the proposed  increases.                                                               
Also,  all trapping  is subsistence  as defined  by the  Board of                                                               
Game and this  should be taken into  consideration for licensing.                                                               
Short-term  nonresident fishing  licenses  and tags  are also  at                                                               
risk from a  supporting public that may shift where  its money is                                                               
spent due  to new cost.   Most of  Alaska's waters have  very low                                                               
harvest limits  for king salmon.   For  example, how much  is one                                                               
king salmon  worth as the  season bag limit  is one?   He thanked                                                               
Co-Chair Talerico for taking up the  issues in HB 137 and urged a                                                               
look at  the language in  the section of  the statute as  well as                                                               
the  numbers  since there  are  some  simple changes  that  would                                                               
clarify what  the hunters and  fishers are doing.   The increases                                                               
further  divide   Alaskans  who  are  hunting   and  fishing  for                                                               
subsistence, he  said, and those trying  to put fish and  game in                                                               
their freezers under other licenses.                                                                                            
6:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR understood  ADF&G's perspective  is that  if                                                               
there are  not funds available  to hire staff to  do inventories,                                                               
then  there is  not the  information necessary  for the  Board of                                                               
Game to  make allocation decisions,  which could result in  a cut                                                               
or elimination  of the hunting  opportunity.  She said  that from                                                               
her  perspective,  a  benefit  of  the  bill  is  to  ensure  the                                                               
resources necessary for being able to make allocation decisions.                                                                
MR. TINKER replied  the department will always  make a population                                                               
estimate,  especially  for highly  used  animals  like moose  and                                                               
caribou.    That estimate  will  be  shared with  local  advisory                                                               
committees  and there  will be  weigh-in on  what the  season bag                                                               
limits ought  to be.   The  question is  whether there  is enough                                                               
money to make  high probability accurate estimates.   If there is                                                               
less money the department will let  people know that they are low                                                               
probability  estimates.   So,  yes, that  is  an opportunity  for                                                               
spending the extra  money and that is why he  supports not trying                                                               
to  replace all  of the  department's general  funds, but  mainly                                                               
replacing some  small portion of  it and allowing  the department                                                               
to continue  to grow.   In the past,  he opined, the  Division of                                                               
Wildlife  Conservation has  not done  a good  job of  sharing the                                                               
information on exactly what programs it is spending money on.                                                                   
6:40:06 PM                                                                                                                    
AL BARRETTE  offered his support  for license fee increases.   He                                                               
maintained that 20,000  Alaskans are not paying  for the resource                                                               
or  the  management  being discussed.    The  17,000  subsistence                                                               
fishermen in the state are not  required to get a license at all,                                                               
despite being  the second biggest  taker and user of  the state's                                                               
fish resources.   About 2,000 National Guard  and Reserve persons                                                               
get a free  hunting license and there are  probably 2,000 hunters                                                               
who  don't buy  a hunting  license  at all.    He said  he has  a                                                               
problem with the  low income figure of $29,000  and asked whether                                                               
that is a  before or after-tax number.  The  statute states gross                                                               
income tax, which  could be net gross or adjusted  gross, so this                                                               
needs to  be clarified.   He further inquired whether  the figure                                                               
of  $29,000  increases  or decreases  the  potential  for  people                                                               
getting a  $5 license.   He charged  that since enactment  of the                                                               
king salmon stamp,  the king salmon opportunity  has decreased to                                                               
none over the last five years in  the Interior.  He said there is                                                               
quite   a  discrepancy   in  the   Alaska  Professional   Hunters                                                               
Association (APHA)  community.  Last  week the lobbyist  for APHA                                                               
said that  clients were  excited about paying  more, yet  a well-                                                               
known member  today said  that is  not the  way he  sees it.   He                                                               
recalled  hearing  last week  that  these  numbers were  randomly                                                               
chosen and  how much  will the public  bear before  revolting and                                                               
not  paying   or  not  buying   a  license.    There   should  be                                                               
justification and reasons  for why and how much  license fees are                                                               
being raised, which should be made  clear in the record.  He said                                                               
he thinks  there will  be a  problem with raising  the age  to 18                                                               
with  the drawing  hunts.   Currently, there  is a  different age                                                               
than the 18 that is being  proposed for no license; a person must                                                               
have a license to  apply for a drawing hunt or  must hunt under a                                                               
parent,  guardian,  or  sponsor.   Responding  to  Representative                                                               
Tarr, Mr.  Barrette agreed to  provide the committee with  a copy                                                               
of his suggestions.                                                                                                             
6:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
NICK  STEEN testified  he is  a  50-year resident  of Alaska  and                                                               
opposes HB  137.  He  said the present  downturn in the  price of                                                               
oil has positioned the state's economy  similar to what it was in                                                               
the 1980s  when there  were massive  foreclosures on  homes, high                                                               
unemployment rates, and bank closures.   This is basically a tax,                                                               
and adding a tax of 15-20 percent  such as this is a very onerous                                                               
situation in  this economy.  For  a family of four  this proposed                                                               
bill would  result in an  astounding cost  of $280 to  go hunting                                                               
for  moose,  with  a  10 percent  opportunity  of  harvesting  an                                                               
animal.  He  understood the state needs to  maintain the Pittman-                                                               
Robertson and  Dingell-Johnson funds,  but said  increasing taxes                                                               
on residents at this time is not the  way to do it.  He urged the                                                               
committee to  reconsider this portion  of the bill, but  said the                                                               
committee can do what it wants  with the nonresident portion.  He                                                               
further stated that requiring renewal  of the free senior citizen                                                               
license every three years is  ridiculous because it will cost the                                                               
state each time.                                                                                                                
6:46:14 PM                                                                                                                    
VICK BISHOP spoke in favor of  HB 137, Version N, and the raising                                                               
of  the fishing,  hunting, and  trapping license  fees.   He said                                                               
every additional dollar  raised can likely be matched  by $3 from                                                               
federal  aid to  fish  and wildlife  restoration  funds that  are                                                               
annually  distributed  to  the  states.   Even  with  the  modest                                                               
increases proposed  by the bill, both  residents and nonresidents                                                               
get a good  deal because Alaska has such  great opportunities for                                                               
fishing, hunting, and  trapping.  He and his  family have enjoyed                                                               
and  benefitted from  these opportunities  since 1961,  with fish                                                               
and  game comprising  almost all  of his  family's meat  for over                                                               
five decades.   Hunting, fishing,  trapping, and  gathering gives                                                               
his family great food and  great satisfaction.  Alaska's fish and                                                               
game management  programs are  sound.  Let  the costs  to sustain                                                               
them  keep   increasing  along   with  almost   everything  else.                                                               
Fishers, hunters, and trappers have  been willing to pay for fish                                                               
and wildlife  management going back  decades to the  federal duck                                                               
stamp, the  Pittman-Robertson Act,  and the  Dingell-Johnson Act,                                                               
not to mention  territorial and state license fees.   The results                                                               
have been outstanding and benefit  not only the fish and wildlife                                                               
but also  the fishers, hunters,  trappers, and society  at large.                                                               
The increased  license and tag  fees are  appropriate, especially                                                               
now when state  general funds are in short supply.   He suggested                                                               
the legislature  consider whether the  fee structures in  HB 137,                                                               
Version N, will  adequately offset the potential  loss of general                                                               
fund  dollars  to  the  sport   fish  and  wildlife  conservation                                                               
divisions.    He  further  urged  consideration  of  the  state's                                                               
ability  to  match   the  Pittman-Robertson  and  Dingell-Johnson                                                               
federal  funds   that  are  derived  from   hunters  and  fishers                                                               
nationally.  He offered his appreciation for HB 137.                                                                            
6:49:35 PM                                                                                                                    
WALTER SHERMAN  stated he turns 60  years old this summer  and is                                                               
supposed to get this license, but  now 62 is the proposed age for                                                               
this.  He requested there be  an exception for the people who are                                                               
old and have been in the state for  a while.  He added that he is                                                               
a Doyon shareholder.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR   pointed  out  to  Mr.   Sherman  that,  as                                                               
currently written, the bill's effective  date is January 1, 2016,                                                               
so  Mr.   Sherman  would   get  his   lifetime  license   and  be                                                               
grandfathered in.                                                                                                               
MR. SHERMAN replied "great."                                                                                                    
6:53:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE MCCRARY testified he supports  raising fees and particularly                                                               
supports incorporating  the non-consumptive  users into  this fee                                                               
structure.   He  said raising  the nonresident  fees 100  percent                                                               
still undervalues  the tags  and licenses  for nonresidents.   He                                                               
said he  opposes incorporating any  kind of  intensive management                                                               
tax  fee  structure into  the  bill  because  the Board  of  Game                                                               
continues  to allow  nonresidents  to participate  in hunts  even                                                               
when the board knows that  prey species populations are declining                                                               
- even after  hunts go to intensive management the  Board of Game                                                               
allows  nonresidents to  continue hunting  prey species  in those                                                               
areas.  Along  with the irrational behavior of the  Board of Game                                                               
in allowing  nonresidents to participate  when the  resources are                                                               
declining and  Alaskans are having  a harder opportunity,  is the                                                               
must-be-guided  law.   This encourages  nonresidents  to come  to                                                               
Alaska and "bought-hunt"  a moose or caribou,  he maintained, and                                                               
discourages nonresidents from coming to  Alaska to hunt bears due                                                               
to the extra burden  of having to hire a guide.   That law should                                                               
be  changed  so that  nonresidents  are  authorized in  intensive                                                               
management areas to hunt bears without  a guide.  He clarified he                                                               
is not advocating a war on  bears by nonresidents, but thinks the                                                               
Board  of Game  is mismanaging  the resource  and that  is a  big                                                               
reason  why  the  state  is   going  into  intensive  management.                                                               
Responding to Representative Josephson,  Mr. McCrary confirmed he                                                               
wrote an e-mail to legislators and submitted written testimony.                                                                 
6:56:39 PM                                                                                                                    
DIANNE DUBUC  stated she is the  vice chair of the  fish and game                                                               
advisory committee in  Seward and represents Seward  at the Board                                                               
of Fisheries level,  but is speaking today on  behalf of herself.                                                               
She  drew attention  to HB  137, Version  N, page  1, Section  1,                                                               
lines 6-8,  and starting  on line  12 in regard  to the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries establishing open and closed  seasons and areas for the                                                               
taking of fish.  She said  that "open and closed seasons" is very                                                               
broad as written and that she  believes this is being done now by                                                               
emergency order  through the department.   She  brought attention                                                               
to page 2,  lines 5-6, which states "setting  quotas, bag limits,                                                               
harvest levels,  and sex  and size limitations  on the  taking of                                                               
fish".   She said  she sees  a problem  with this  with in-season                                                               
management.  Basically, Section 1(a)  on page 1 through paragraph                                                               
(17) on page 3, puts a lot of  onus on the Board of Fisheries and                                                               
she does not  want to see ADF&G  shut out of the  process.  There                                                               
are  biological imperatives  in  fish management,  she said,  and                                                               
politics should be left aside.                                                                                                  
6:58:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT  ROBUS qualified  that while  he is  a board  member of  the                                                               
Territorial  Sportsmen,  his  testimony  today  is  his  personal                                                               
testimony.  He  further noted that before retiring  from ADF&G he                                                               
was director of the Division  of Wildlife Conservation from 2003-                                                               
2007, as  was Doug Larsen who  will be testifying after  him.  He                                                               
said that  having held this  position, he  and Mr. Larsen  have a                                                               
better than average feel for  the puzzle for funding the wildlife                                                               
division and,  to a certain  extent, the Division of  Sport Fish.                                                               
At  the time  that  he became  director, a  big  problem was  the                                                               
virtual lack  of general funding,  which meant that  there wasn't                                                               
very much flexibility.  The fish  and game fund license fee money                                                               
was largely  used to  match and  pull in the  $3 for  every state                                                               
dollar  of Pittman-Robertson  federal aid  monies.   The division                                                               
had  a  very  hard  time  finding funding  to  do  other  special                                                               
projects  that were  not covered  by federal  funds.   He advised                                                               
that  Alaska will  be  seeing more  and  more endangered  species                                                               
petitions over  time and  for this type  of thing  the department                                                               
needs  to gather  a  lot of  information  and do  a  lot of  good                                                               
science to sustain the state's  position and ensure the decisions                                                               
are made.   However,  that cannot  be done  with the  federal aid                                                               
monies  and   neither  can   certain  education   activities  and                                                               
intensive  management.   At first  after  a couple  of years  the                                                               
legislature  responded  to  that  issue with  some  general  fund                                                               
"CIPs" and then eventually general  funds in the regular division                                                               
budget.  Ironically,  the problem today is that in  each of those                                                               
divisions the general  fund portion of the budget  has climbed to                                                               
13  percent.   So,  with  the  general  fund being  so  obviously                                                               
vulnerable right  now, it means  that a substantial wedge  out of                                                               
the pie  that makes up those  divisions' budget could go  away in                                                               
large proportion pretty quickly.                                                                                                
7:01:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ROBUS stated  that reduction in the general  fund will reduce                                                               
the ability of the Division  of Wildlife Conservation to do field                                                               
research and inventories that allow  the department to advise the                                                               
Board of Game on determining  where intensive management programs                                                               
are needed, where  they are feasible, and  if they're defensible.                                                               
This work  is in  addition to the  standard survey  and inventory                                                               
work that the  department funds with federal aid  monies and fish                                                               
and  game  fund monies.    An  incredible  amount of  science  is                                                               
necessary to do those intensive  management programs properly and                                                               
the courts  so far have upheld  the division in its  efforts when                                                               
it has been  challenged because of that science.   If the science                                                               
isn't there  it isn't near  as defensible.   A question  that has                                                               
come up  is what the benefit  is of gathering more  fish and game                                                               
fund dollars  and whether  it is  to expand  intensive management                                                               
programs.   The answer is no.   The best that  the department can                                                               
do  is try  to avoid  losing  progress that's  been made  through                                                               
intensive  management  programs  to   provide  more  wildlife  to                                                               
Alaskans  who need  moose and  caribou.   He said  another effect                                                               
that  reduction  in  general  funds  is going  to  have  on  both                                                               
divisions  is  the ability  to  reach  out  and get  those  three                                                               
federal  dollars  for every  state  dollar  that  is put  up  for                                                               
Pittman-Robertson  on the  wildlife side  and Dingell-Johnson  on                                                               
the  sport fish  side.    While many  people  are cautious  about                                                               
grabbing  federal money,  that federal  money  combined with  the                                                               
state's  license dollars  is an  incredibly important  foundation                                                               
for all  of the survey  and inventory research work  that's done.                                                               
It is very flexible money, there  are only a few things it cannot                                                               
be used  for and  the divisions would  be hamstrung  without that                                                               
7:03:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ROBUS  continued, pointing  out that,  on the  wildlife side,                                                               
available Pittman-Robertson grant  monies are climbing radically.                                                               
Without an  adequate boost to  the wildlife funding,  he advised,                                                               
the  Division of  Wildlife Conservation  may be  leaving Pittman-                                                               
Robertson  dollars  on  the  table.   After  a  couple  of  years                                                               
accounting can be  done to preserve those dollars for  as long as                                                               
possible or  they could revert  to the federal  government, which                                                               
seems silly  when the state  is hurting for  funds.  This  is one                                                               
reason why he  supports raising fees for the fish  and game fund,                                                               
he  said.    Regarding  the  sport fish  side,  he  advised  that                                                               
Dingell-Johnson   monies  are   either   stagnant  or   declining                                                               
slightly, so  there is more need  to backfill that with  fish and                                                               
game fund  dollars if they can  be acquired.  He  further pointed                                                               
out that there are wildlife  education opportunities that need to                                                               
be funded for which federal funds  cannot always be used.  All in                                                               
all,  there is  the need  to  offset the  diminishing of  general                                                               
funds to  as a great  a degree as  possible with asking  users to                                                               
pay more.   Research shows that the $25 hunting  license in 1993,                                                               
the last  time there was in  increase, would cost $41  today just                                                               
because  of inflation.   So,  while  HB 137  is appreciated,  the                                                               
prices in the bill are somewhat  under the cost of inflation.  It                                                               
is something that will have to be  sorted out in the halls of the                                                               
legislature,  but  there  is  a  great  need  for  funding  those                                                               
divisions  because with  general funds  about to  be taken  away,                                                               
inflation alone has put the divisions in quite a sensitive spot.                                                                
7:06:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  inquired whether  this type of  fee increase                                                               
has  been  tried  before  and  asked  how  there  can  be  better                                                               
communication with the public to explain how it will work.                                                                      
MR.  ROBUS replied  that when  he was  director, and  before that                                                               
when he was deputy director, and  before that when he was an area                                                               
biologist,  he  always  sincerely  thought that  he  was  getting                                                               
information out.   He understood,  though, that at the  other end                                                               
there  is some  frustration that  not everything  is coming  out.                                                               
Almost  all the  time,  biologists, Board  of  Game members,  and                                                               
[department]   directors  have   to  make   decisions  based   on                                                               
incomplete  information.   When  with  the  department he  didn't                                                               
think information was  being withheld, he said,  but allowed that                                                               
the department may  not have been as forthcoming  as people would                                                               
have  liked.    At  Board  of   Game  meetings  he  had  lots  of                                                               
discussions in  the hallways  with people  around the  state, but                                                               
said this is something that is always a continuing challenge.                                                                   
7:07:58 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG LARSEN  qualified that  while he  is a  board member  of the                                                               
Territorial Sportsmen, his testimony  today is his personal view.                                                               
He offered his  agreement with the testimony  presented last week                                                               
by the coalition that includes  Mr. Sommerville, Mr. Grasser, Mr.                                                               
Stacey, and Mr. Arno.  He  stated that the fees incorporated into                                                               
Version N are  lower than what he would like  to see just because                                                               
of  the   inflation  if  nothing   else.     Regarding  intensive                                                               
management  he said  there  are  questions and  misunderstandings                                                               
about  how  funding can  be  used,  and  is  used, by  ADF&G  for                                                               
intensive  management.     There  are  many   examples  of  where                                                               
intensive  management  funds are  used  to  do predator  control,                                                               
which is  a part  of intensive  management but  not the  whole of                                                               
intensive  management,  but  those  funds are  also  used  to  do                                                               
habitat work and  to assess the habitat condition  to see whether                                                               
predator  control   or  removal  of  some   predator  species  is                                                               
appropriate or wanted.   He said he can provide  examples of many                                                               
times where  intensive management was  proposed for areas  but in                                                               
the end  was not implemented  because the department was  able to                                                               
take funding  that was  available, get  the information  that was                                                               
necessary, and  show that  going in  and removing  more predators                                                               
was not  the answer in  those particular situations.   An example                                                               
of that  is in southern  Southeast Alaska around  Ketchikan where                                                               
there has  been talk in the  last couple years about  getting the                                                               
deer population  increased because it doesn't  meet the intensive                                                               
management population  or harvest objectives.   Staff did habitat                                                               
assessment and population assessment  and concluded that with the                                                               
habitat that  is available there,  doing an  intensive management                                                               
program to  remove wolves did  not make sense biologically.   So,                                                               
having something  like an intensive  management surcharge  is not                                                               
saying  to  the  department  that   it  can  implement  intensive                                                               
management helter skelter or even  expand beyond what it is doing                                                               
now.  Rather,  it would allow for the information  to be gathered                                                               
that would  help to  determine whether  further actions  would be                                                               
warranted or  necessary.   In the past  the legislature  has been                                                               
very  generous  in providing  "CIP"  funds,  but today  with  the                                                               
revenue situation  being what it  is, the  department anticipates                                                               
that that  is not going to  continue, at least not  to the extent                                                               
that it  has.  [The surcharge]  would be a way  to supplant those                                                               
funds that wouldn't be available  otherwise.  The downside to not                                                               
having funds  to those things  is that the department  would have                                                               
to  be more  conservative  or could  not even  do  what the  1994                                                               
intensive  management   law  requires,  which  is   to  get  that                                                               
information and see what actions be done.                                                                                       
7:11:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. LARSEN  continued, noting  that there  are examples  of where                                                               
endangered species  petitions have impacted Alaska  and Alaskans.                                                               
A petition he is currently familiar  with is the petition to list                                                               
the Southeast  Alaska Alexander  Archipelago wolf  as endangered.                                                               
From  his experience  as the  regional  supervisor for  Southeast                                                               
Alaska  before   retiring,  he   advised  that   the  information                                                               
necessary  to withstand  lawsuits and  to be  able to  defend the                                                               
outcome of  that situation necessitates  an incredible  amount of                                                               
funds  to put  people  and resources  on the  ground  to get  the                                                               
information  that  will be  used  by  the  U.S. Fish  &  Wildlife                                                               
Service (USFWS) to  make that determination.   Listings have huge                                                               
implications for hunting and trapping  as well as for mineral and                                                               
timber  development.    So,  the  funding that  is  used  by  the                                                               
department   to  get   that   information   has  broad   economic                                                               
implications beyond the hunting and fishing community.                                                                          
MR.  LARSEN  noted  he  served  on  the  wildlife  team  for  the                                                               
transition program  and in that  group were people  he interacted                                                               
with while director with whom he  did not see eye-to-eye, and yet                                                               
everyone came  together in  the spirit of  trying to  find common                                                               
ground and  a lot of  common ground was  found.  One  thing found                                                               
for  common  ground  was  the  need  to  increase  and  diversify                                                               
revenue.   The license  fee increase  was one  of the  things the                                                               
transition team  supported strongly, along with  diversity, which                                                               
is where this  idea of a conservation pass or  stamp or something                                                               
of  that nature  came  into being.   Many  people  would like  to                                                               
contribute to wildlife  conservation in the state  of Alaska, but                                                               
don't feel  they have a  venue because  they are not  hunters and                                                               
are not  necessarily anti-hunting  or anti-fishing but  they just                                                               
don't  participate themselves  and yet  they want  to contribute.                                                               
The  transition team  sees  that as  a  potential opportunity  to                                                               
capture more  funding that could  then be used  for conservation.                                                               
That is  very much in  keeping with  what was proposed  years ago                                                               
through the  federal Conservation and Reinvestment  Act which did                                                               
not  pass  but  transitioned  into   the  state  wildlife  grants                                                               
program.   Those funds  would help  with programs  like education                                                               
and others for which the department  is strapped.  He offered his                                                               
appreciation for the sponsor bringing forth HB 137.                                                                             
7:14:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON requested Mr.  Larsen to explain where the                                                               
three-to-one match comes from.                                                                                                  
MR.  LARSEN   replied  that  in   1939  American   sportsmen  and                                                               
sportswomen said a  way was needed to  fund wildlife conservation                                                               
and management in  the U.S.  A  law was passed that  is now known                                                               
as  the   Pittman-Robertson  Act,   after  the   two  individuals                                                               
responsible for  the bill.   On  the fisheries  side there  was a                                                               
similar act  called the Dingell-Johnson  Act.  An excise  tax was                                                               
put on the  sale of firearms, ammunition, motor boat  gas, and so                                                               
forth.  Those dollars go into  a federal pot that is then divvied                                                               
out to all the  states on a formula.  The  maximum that any state                                                               
can get  is 5 percent  and it is based  on numbers of  people and                                                               
landmass.  Alaska doesn't have that  many people but it has a lot                                                               
of  land so  it gets  5 percent  of that  pot.   With the  recent                                                               
increase in  the sale of firearms  and ammunition there is  a lot                                                               
more money  in that  Pittman-Robertson account.   That is  the $3                                                               
that comes into the  state, but to get those $3  there must be $1                                                               
on the state side  and that's where the fish and  game fund is so                                                               
important.  That fund is where  license fees and tag fees go into                                                               
a pot  and the  $1 that  comes out of  the state  pot is  used to                                                               
match  those $3  from the  federal  pot.   Not having  sufficient                                                               
dollars  in  that fish  and  game  fund  is  what Mr.  Robus  was                                                               
referring  to -  if Alaska  can't match  all the  federal dollars                                                               
then there'd  be federal dollars  that would perhaps go  away and                                                               
not be used by the state.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON said he wants it  to be clear that this is                                                               
a  tax  on  sportsmen,  a self-imposed  tax,  to  preserve  their                                                               
lifestyle and  the habitat.   It is not  taking money out  of the                                                               
treasury,  it is  taking money  out  of a  voluntary system  that                                                               
allows Alaska to tap that money.                                                                                                
7:17:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TALERICO  closed public testimony after  ascertaining no                                                               
one else wished to testify.   He then opened committee discussion                                                               
on Version N, the proposed CS before the committee.                                                                             
7:18:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  labeled 29-                                                               
LS0625\N.1, Bullard, 3/20/15, which read:                                                                                       
     Page 1, line 4, following "trapping;":                                                                                   
          Insert "replacing the permanent sport fishing,                                                                      
      hunting, or trapping identification card for certain                                                                    
     state residents with an identification card valid for                                                                    
     three years;"                                                                                                            
     Page 2, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "62"                                                                                                       
          Insert "65"                                                                                                       
     Page 5, line 27:                                                                                                           
          Delete "62"                                                                                                       
          Insert "65"                                                                                                       
     Page 7, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "62"                                                                                                       
          Insert "65"                                                                                                       
     Page 7, line 27, through page 8, line 6:                                                                                   
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Sec. 19. AS 16.05.400 is amended to read:                                                                        
          Sec. 16.05.400. Persons exempt from annual                                                                        
     licensing  requirements  [LICENSE REQUIREMENT].  (a)  A                                                                
     license is  not required of  a resident under  18 years                                                                
     of age or a nonresident  [PERSON] under [THE AGE OF] 16                                                            
     years  of  age  for  sport fishing  nor  is  a  license                                                                
     required of a  resident under 18 years of  age [THE AGE                                                                
     OF 16] for hunting or trapping.                                                                                            
          (b) Upon request, and without charge, the                                                                         
     commissioner shall issue a  sport fishing, hunting, and                                                                
     trapping  identification  card  to  [A  SPORT  FISHING,                                                                
     HUNTING,  OR TRAPPING  LICENSE IS  NOT  REQUIRED OF]  a                                                                    
     resident  who is  65 [60]  years  of age  or older.  An                                                            
     identification  card issued  under  this subsection  is                                                                
     valid for  three years  [MORE]. The  commissioner shall                                                                
     issue  an  [A  PERMANENT] identification  card  without                                                                
     charge to  a person  [PERSONS] who  qualifies [QUALIFY]                                                            
     by age  and residence and who  completes [COMPLETE] the                                                                
     forms required  by the commissioner  for implementation                                                                    
     of this  subsection. A  person who  is eligible  for an                                                                
     [ISSUED  A PERMANENT]  identification  card under  this                                                                    
     subsection may  not sport fish,  hunt, or  trap without                                                                
     having a  valid identification  card issued  under this                                                                
     subsection or  the appropriate license [SHALL  HAVE IT]                                                                
     in  possession   [WHILE  SPORT  FISHING,   HUNTING,  OR                                                                    
        * Sec. 20. AS 16.05.403(c) is amended to read:                                                                        
          (c) A resident who is 65 years of age or older                                                                        
     may obtain from the department  upon payment of the fee                                                                    
     prescribed  in   AS 16.05.330  -  16.05.430   and  upon                                                                    
     submission  of satisfactory  proof  of  age a  resident                                                                    
     hunting license,  a resident  sport fishing  license, a                                                                    
     resident  subsistence  fishing  permit, or  a  resident                                                                    
     personal  use   fishing  permit  indicating   that  the                                                                    
     purchaser is a person who is  65 years of age or older.                                                                    
     This subsection does not limit  the right of a resident                                                                    
     person who  is 65 years  of age  or older to  obtain an                                                                
     identification  card [CLAIM  AN EXEMPTION  FROM HUNTING                                                                
     OR   SPORT   FISHING    LICENSE   REQUIREMENTS]   under                                                                    
     AS 16.05.400(b).                                                                                                           
        * Sec. 21. AS 16.05.405(b) is amended to read:                                                                        
          (b) Notwithstanding AS 16.05.420(c), a resident                                                                       
     holding a valid resident  hunting license may take game                                                                    
     on  behalf of  a person  who  is blind,  a person  with                                                                    
     physical disabilities, or  a person who is  65 years of                                                                    
     age  or   older  if  the  resident   possesses  on  the                                                                    
     resident's person                                                                                                          
               (1) a document signed  by the person on whose                                                                    
     behalf  the game  is taken,  stating that  the resident                                                                    
     possesses the  person's hunting license  or [PERMANENT]                                                                    
     identification  card  issued under  AS 16.05.400(b)  in                                                                
     order to take game on behalf of that person; and                                                                           
               (2) the person's                                                                                                 
               (A)  resident  hunting license  issued  under                                                                    
     AS 16.05.403 or [PERMANENT]  identification card issued                                                                    
     under AS 16.05.400(b); and                                                                                                 
               (B)  harvest  ticket,  tag, stamp,  or  other                                                                    
     document required by  law as a condition  of taking the                                                                    
     game being hunted.                                                                                                         
        * Sec. 22. AS 16.05.405(c) is amended to read:                                                                        
          (c) Notwithstanding AS 16.05.420(c), a resident                                                                       
     holding a valid noncommercial  fishing license may take                                                                    
     fish on behalf of a person  who is blind, a person with                                                                    
     physical disabilities, or  a person who is  65 years of                                                                    
     age  or   older  if  the  resident   possesses  on  the                                                                    
     resident's person                                                                                                          
               (1) a document signed  by the person on whose                                                                    
     behalf  the fish  is taken,  stating that  the resident                                                                    
     possesses   the   person's   sport   fishing   license,                                                                    
     subsistence  fishing   permit,  personal   use  fishing                                                                    
     permit,  or  [PERMANENT]   identification  card  issued                                                                
     under AS 16.05.400(b)  in order to take  fish on behalf                                                                
     of that person;                                                                                                            
               (2) the person's                                                                                                 
               (A)  resident  sport fishing  license  issued                                                                    
     under AS 16.05.403  or [PERMANENT]  identification card                                                                    
     issued under AS 16.05.400(b);                                                                                              
               (B)   resident  subsistence   fishing  permit                                                                    
     issued under AS 16.05.403; or                                                                                              
               (C)  resident  personal  use  fishing  permit                                                                    
     issued under AS 16.05.403; and                                                                                             
               (3) all other documents issued to the person                                                                     
     that are required  by law as a condition  of taking the                                                                    
     fish being pursued.                                                                                                        
        * Sec. 23. AS 16.05.405(e) is amended to read:                                                                        
          (e) A resident who takes, or attempts to take,                                                                        
     fish or game  on behalf of a person  under this section                                                                    
     may also  simultaneously engage  in fishing  or hunting                                                                    
     for the  resident's use; however, the  resident may not                                                                    
     take or attempt to take fish  or game by proxy for more                                                                    
     than one  person at  a time. For  the purposes  of this                                                                    
     subsection,  a  resident  is   engaged  in  taking,  or                                                                    
     attempting to  take, fish  or game  by proxy  while the                                                                    
     resident has possession of                                                                                                 
               (1) another person's                                                                                             
               (A) license, permit, or identification card                                                                      
     issued  under AS 16.05.400(b)  and all  other documents                                                                
     issued  to the  person that  are required  by law  as a                                                                    
     condition  of taking  the fish  or game  being pursued;                                                                    
               (B) signed document under (b)(1) or (c)(1)                                                                       
     of this section; or                                                                                                        
               (2) fish or game taken on behalf of another                                                                      
        * Sec. 24. AS 16.05.415(i) is amended to read:                                                                        
          (i) In this section, "license" means a license,                                                                       
     tag,  permit, stamp,  identification card  issued under                                                                
     AS 16.05.400(b),  or  other  indicia of  permission  to                                                                
     engage  in  an  activity   subject  to  AS 16.05.330  -                                                                    
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 8, line 9:                                                                                                            
          Delete "APPLICABILITY."                                                                                               
          Insert "APPLICABILITY AND TRANSITION. (a)"                                                                            
     Page 8, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 20"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 19"                                                                                                      
     Page 8, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "continue to"                                                                                                  
     Page 8, lines 13 - 15:                                                                                                     
          Delete "the exemption under AS 16.05.400(b), as                                                                       
     that subsection read before the  effective date of this                                                                    
          Insert     "an    identification     card    under                                                                    
     AS 16.05.400(b), as that subsection  is amended by this                                                                    
     Act,   notwithstanding  the   requirement  under   that                                                                    
     subsection that a  resident must be 65 years  of age or                                                                    
     older to obtain an identification card"                                                                                    
     Page 8, following line 15:                                                                                                 
          Insert new subsections to read:                                                                                       
          "(b)  A permanent identification card issued                                                                          
     under AS 16.05.400(b),  as that subsection  read before                                                                    
     the effective  date of this  Act, shall continue  to be                                                                    
     recognized  as  valid  for the  purposes  issued  until                                                                    
     January 1,  2019.  On  or   after  January 1,  2019,  a                                                                    
     permanent    identification     card    issued    under                                                                    
     AS 16.05.400(b),  as that  subsection  read before  the                                                                    
     effective date of this Act, is void.                                                                                       
          (c)  The Department of Fish and Game shall                                                                            
     attempt   to  notify   current  holders   of  permanent                                                                    
     identification cards  issued under  AS 16.05.400(b), as                                                                    
     that subsection read before the  effective date of this                                                                    
     Act, that                                                                                                                  
               (1)  they are eligible for identification                                                                        
     cards  under  AS 16.05.400(b),  as that  subsection  is                                                                    
     amended by this Act; and                                                                                                   
               (2)  permanent identification cards issued                                                                       
     under  AS 16.05.400(b)  before  the effective  date  of                                                                    
     this Act are void on January 1, 2019."                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON objected.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON objected.                                                                                                 
7:18:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  explained Amendment  1 looks  at replacing                                                               
the  current  permanent  sport  fishing,  hunting,  and  trapping                                                               
identification card for certain  residents with an identification                                                               
card that is  valid for three years.  Several  years ago he found                                                               
that there were  83,000 permanent cards, but  ADF&G couldn't tell                                                               
him how  many of those  were current  residents or how  many were                                                               
permanent  fund dividend  recipients.   Many people  leave Alaska                                                               
and then  return to the state  carrying this card that  says they                                                               
can  hunt,  fish, and  trap  for  free, he  said.    There is  no                                                               
requirement that they even carry  the card.  Therefore, a renewal                                                               
period is  needed in  which the people  re-certify that  they are                                                               
still residents of the state.   Since residency is not identified                                                               
in this section  the question is whether that means  a person can                                                               
have a 30-day voter residency or  live out of state and only come                                                               
back  to Alaska  in  the summer.    In that  regard  there is  no                                                               
qualification at  all on the  permanent card.  Amendment  1 would                                                               
ensure that there is a free  renewal for people as they get older                                                               
but  that they  are  residents  of the  state  and  that they  be                                                               
required to  carry the  card with them  when hunting  or fishing.                                                               
Amendment  1 would  also raise  the age  for this  identification                                                               
card from  62 to  65.  He  pointed out that  people can  elect to                                                               
begin Social  Security at age 62,  but the normal age  for Social                                                               
Security is 65.   Additionally, under current statute  the age at                                                               
which proxy  hunting and fishing  are allowed is 65.   Therefore,                                                               
raising  the  age to  65  would  make  it consistent.    Further,                                                               
Amendment  1  would  provide   that  currently  issued  permanent                                                               
identification cards would  be valid through January  1, 2019, at                                                               
which  time the  person will  need  to get  a three-year  renewal                                                               
7:22:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  inquired what  it  would  cost to  issue                                                               
these cards every three years instead of just once.                                                                             
BEN  MULLIGAN,  Legislative  Liaison, Special  Assistant  to  the                                                               
Commissioner, Office  of the  Commissioner, Alaska  Department of                                                               
Fish  &  Game  (ADF&G),  confirmed that  about  83,000  permanent                                                               
identifications have  been issued, with  6,000 to 8,000  new ones                                                               
every year.   Not knowing how many of those  people would want to                                                               
re-apply, he said,  it is hard to give a  ballpark number at this                                                               
time, but it will have to be done underneath a new fiscal note.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON  understood   this  would   qualify  for                                                               
MR. MULLIGAN  replied that these  are free,  so Pittman-Robertson                                                               
would apply  if a  person didn't  qualify and  had to  purchase a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON surmised the  expense [of issuing the free                                                               
cards] would be  money out of the 3:1 match  that the state could                                                               
get.  So, he posited, if  the fiscal note for issuing these cards                                                               
is  $1,000, then  the state  would be  potentially losing  $3,000                                                               
from  Pittman-Robertson  and  Dingell-Johnson funds  because  the                                                               
state wouldn't have that potential match.                                                                                       
SUNNY  HAIGHT,  Director,  Division of  Administrative  Services,                                                               
Alaska  Department  of Fish  &  Game  (ADF&G), responded  she  is                                                               
unsure if that  is accurate and offered to run  an analysis.  She                                                               
noted she  is only just  now seeing this amendment  and therefore                                                               
she has not had a chance to go through the numbers.                                                                             
7:24:58 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON surmised  Amendment 1  would have  some                                                               
administrative costs, but  that some of the cost  might be offset                                                               
by those [former Alaska residents]  who will now have to purchase                                                               
a license that otherwise would have been free to them.                                                                          
MR.  MULLIGAN agreed  there could  be costs  associated with  the                                                               
amendment,  but  pointed out  that  those  folks [who  no  longer                                                               
qualify as residents] but who still  want to come back would have                                                               
to pay  the higher nonresident  fees, which might create  a wash.                                                               
He said  he will run some  numbers and talk to  ADF&G's licensing                                                               
7:25:58 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  stated the question  here is what  it will                                                               
cost to do these permanent  identification cards.  He pointed out                                                               
that a permanent identification card  will not incur a vendor fee                                                               
because  applicants must  go to  an  ADF&G office  rather than  a                                                               
store and it  is simply a piece of paperwork  certifying that the                                                               
applicant is a resident.                                                                                                        
7:27:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON understood  that a person who  has an "over                                                               
60 card" must be a resident to be able to use the card.                                                                         
MS. HAIGHT replied correct.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  surmised that  someone coming back  to the                                                               
state who cannot prove he/she is a resident cannot use the card.                                                                
MS. HAIGHT responded correct.                                                                                                   
7:27:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR posed  a scenario in which  a former resident                                                               
returns to  the state  because he/she  has the  card and  picks a                                                               
species that  doesn't require  a guided service.   In  this case,                                                               
she pointed out,  the potential exists that the  person will have                                                               
no interaction  at all with the  department and there will  be no                                                               
checking or verification of that person's residency.                                                                            
MR. MULLIGAN  answered correct,  once a  permanent identification                                                               
is issued a person has it and  can come back.  So unless stopped,                                                               
checked, and  flagged by a  trooper there is no  way to know.   A                                                               
law abiding citizen who is no  longer a resident would purchase a                                                               
license, but there is no way to know how often that happens.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR drew attention to  Amendment 1, page 5, lines                                                               
2-4,  regarding currently  issued permanent  identification cards                                                               
being valid  until January 1,  2019.  She inquired  whether there                                                               
is a problem  with the giving of a benefit  by the department and                                                               
then having it taken away or modified.                                                                                          
MR. MULLIGAN replied  he cannot give a definitive  answer at this                                                               
time without talking to the department's legal counsel.                                                                         
7:30:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  pointed out that  the bill was  drafted by                                                               
the legislature's  legal counsel.   Because this card is  free it                                                               
is different  than if someone  has purchased something  of value.                                                               
He further  noted that the  other question being talked  about is                                                               
residence.   Enforcement  officials don't  enforce these  because                                                               
there is  nothing that  says a  person coming  up in  a motorhome                                                               
with a Washington or Idaho  license plate doesn't mean the person                                                               
isn't a  resident under the  terms of maintaining  his/her voting                                                               
rights in  Alaska.   A person  doesn't even have  to be  a voter.                                                               
There is  nothing in the current  statute that says how  a person                                                               
maintains residency.   For example, there is nothing  that says a                                                               
person must be a permanent fund  resident.  While it takes a year                                                               
to become  a resident, there  is nothing  that says how  a person                                                               
loses residency for  fish and game.  Troopers have  a really hard                                                               
time because there  is no clear statutory guideline  on what kind                                                               
of residency  must be maintained  and whether a person  coming up                                                               
in a motorhome every summer constitutes residency.                                                                              
7:32:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON said Title 1  states as little as 30-day                                                               
windows  for residency  with an  intent to  remain, so  there are                                                               
different  ways to  define residency  as noted  by Representative                                                               
Seaton.    In  regard  to the  prospective  versus  retrospective                                                               
provision  mentioned by  Representative Tarr,  he said  he thinks                                                               
what Representative Seaton  said is accurate -  that under police                                                               
powers  the making  of changes  is allowed  and if  there was  no                                                               
investment it would be hard for  a person to claim a suffering or                                                               
a deprivation  of due  process.    He added  that it  sounds like                                                               
this  is  also  the  view   of  Legislative  Legal  and  Research                                                               
7:33:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON maintained his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  posed  a  scenario  in  which  a  former                                                               
resident comes up and uses  his/her card and receives a citation.                                                               
He  inquired  whether  under  the  Interstate  Wildlife  Violator                                                               
Compact that  person would lose  his/her license in  his/her home                                                               
state  and the  right to  fish in  any of  those other  38 states                                                               
[belonging to the compact].                                                                                                     
MR.  MULLIGAN responded  he will  have to  check with  the Alaska                                                               
Wildlife Troopers.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  said he  thinks  the  person would  lose                                                               
his/her  license and  it would  be  the same  punishment in  that                                                               
person's home  state as here in  Alaska.  He opined  that this is                                                               
being done  for honest people and  someone who is going  to cheat                                                               
is going to cheat.  He  said he therefore maintains his objection                                                               
to Amendment 1.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON responded  that  losing a  license is  one                                                               
thing, but this  isn't a license, it is just  free access.  Thus,                                                               
there may be  some distinctions between what a  person would lose                                                               
in  Alaska  -  the  ability to  participate  versus  a  purchased                                                               
license.   He  allowed he  isn't sure,  saying this  is a  unique                                                               
thing that Alaska has.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  offered  his  belief that  if  cited  in                                                               
Alaska a  person would have  an equivalent punishment  in his/her                                                               
home  state.   For example,  a person  unable to  fish in  Alaska                                                               
would  be unable  to  fish in  another  state.   It  is a  fairly                                                               
serious crime to violate in Alaska, he pointed out.                                                                             
7:35:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON again  maintained his  objection, stating                                                               
there  are a  lot of  unanswered questions,  one being  the money                                                               
question.   He said  he doesn't want  to hold the  bill up  as he                                                               
supports the  concept, but he  is also concerned  about upsetting                                                               
the balance and having groups  that support the bill subsequently                                                               
pull out.   He suggested there be no amendments  and let the bill                                                               
go  to the  House Finance  Committee  where these  things can  be                                                               
hashed out and ADF&G come in to answer questions.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  spoke  to  his objection,  saying  he  is                                                               
concerned with  raising the age and  so will be voting  no on the                                                               
7:36:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON asked  whether holders  of a  permanent                                                               
identification card  would receive  something at their  last best                                                               
address  indicating that  the privilege  has become  a three-year                                                               
MS.  HAIGHT answered  yes, the  department's licensing  staff has                                                               
given  thought to  this and  is prepared  to reach  out to  every                                                               
permanent license holder with adequate notification.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  OLSON suggested  checking against  permanent fund                                                               
dividend applications and making it  that a person ineligible for                                                               
a dividend is ineligible for  a permanent license and giving that                                                               
person notice of such.                                                                                                          
MS. HAIGHT replied  she cannot address that, but  she can confirm                                                               
that  ADF&G's  licensing  staff,   for  purposes  of  checks  and                                                               
balances,  does  check  against  the  permanent  fund  to  verify                                                               
residency  when any  new  application is  filled out.    It is  a                                                               
valuable tool that the department does use, she said.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  asked whether  the department would  have to                                                               
reach out to  all 83,000 permanent card holders  or whether there                                                               
is some other way to reduce the scope of that communication.                                                                    
MS. HAIGHT  responded she would  have to work with  the licensing                                                               
staff, but  said the licensing  staff regularly scrubs  that list                                                               
to weed out deceased folks.                                                                                                     
7:39:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  requested that  Representative  Seaton                                                               
repeat his reasoning for proposing Amendment 1.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON stated  the permanent  identification card                                                               
has the  problem of unlimited  time.  There are  participants who                                                               
have definitely  left the  state.   Alaska Wildlife  Troopers has                                                               
said these cards are unenforceable  because they have no standard                                                               
of residency.   At the time that he checked  on these cards there                                                               
had  not  been  any  violations because  no  citations  had  been                                                               
issued, but  that was  a while  ago and  he doesn't  know whether                                                               
there have been any violations or  citations since then.  He said                                                               
age  65 works  well  with  all the  fish  and  game statutes  and                                                               
therefore  it  would clean  up  the  statute  and fish  and  game                                                               
procedures,  would make  laws enforceable,  and would  ensure the                                                               
cardholder is a resident of the state.                                                                                          
The committee took an at-ease from 7:41 p.m. to 7:44 p.m.                                                                       
7:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON withdrew Amendment 1 and requested that a                                                                 
fiscal note be drafted for the amendment.                                                                                       
CO-CHAIR TALERICO asked ADF&G to provide cost estimates in this                                                                 
MS. HAIGHT agreed.                                                                                                              
7:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to adopt Amendment 2, labeled 29-                                                                   
LS0625\N.3, Bullard, 3/19/15, which read:                                                                                       
     Page 1, line 1, following "trapping;":                                                                                   
          Insert "relating to fish and game conservation                                                                      
     Page 7, following line 26:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "*  Sec. 19.  AS 16.05 is  amended by  adding a  new                                                                
     section to read:                                                                                                           
          Sec. 16.05.352. Fish and game conservation decal.                                                                   
     The   department  shall   annually  produce   and  make                                                                    
     available  to the  public  fish  and game  conservation                                                                    
     decals.  The department  shall,  by appropriate  means,                                                                    
     provide for the selection of  designs for fish and game                                                                    
     conservation decals and for the  production and sale of                                                                    
     the  decals.  The  department   may  produce  and  sell                                                                    
     different  decals in  quantities that  the commissioner                                                                    
     considers  appropriate. Upon  payment of  a $20  fee, a                                                                    
     person may purchase a fish  and game conservation decal                                                                    
     from the department."                                                                                                      
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 8, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 20"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 21"                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON objected to Amendment 2 for discussion.                                                                  
7:45:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  explained  that many  tourists,  viewers,                                                               
photographers,  and other  non-consumptive users  come to  Alaska                                                               
and this would allow them  to participate in maintaining fish and                                                               
wildlife conservation.   Amendment  2 would  allow the  public to                                                               
participate in that by buying  a fish and game conservation decal                                                               
for $20.   It would  be maintained like  a license.   If desired,                                                               
the department  could limit this to  online sales so it  would be                                                               
reasonable  and cheap  to  issue  and a  public  record would  be                                                               
established so it  is known how many people want  to support fish                                                               
and  wildlife  conservation  but  who  aren't  actually  hunters,                                                               
fishers, or trappers.                                                                                                           
7:46:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  inquired  whether   the  decal  would  be                                                               
strictly voluntary.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON confirmed it would be strictly voluntary.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON surmised  this is  a contribution  that                                                               
would not be tax deductible.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON   replied   yes,   it   could   be   like                                                               
organizations  that give  a  mug  or decal  for  donations.   The                                                               
department, by  appropriate means, would  be able to  solicit art                                                               
for decals and  the decals could be donated.   A person could buy                                                               
one or  more decals.  It  is a fundraising opportunity  for ADF&G                                                               
from  residents and  nonresidents who  want to  support fish  and                                                               
wildlife conservation in Alaska,  whether they are consumptive or                                                               
non-consumptive users.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON  requested   Representative  Seaton   to                                                               
explain what each section of Amendment 2 would do.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON replied  that a  new section,  Section 19,                                                               
would be inserted and the others consequently renumbered.                                                                       
7:49:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  noted  that  an  additional  amendment                                                               
might be moved  later in tonight's meeting.  He  posed a scenario                                                               
in which that amendment doesn't pass  but Amendment 2 does and is                                                               
included in  the bill signed  by the governor, and  asked whether                                                               
the [decal funds] could be  used for intensive management and the                                                               
purchaser wouldn't know that.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON responded the  committee would need to talk                                                               
to ADF&G,  but he thinks  ADF&G is aware that  [decal purchasers]                                                               
are probably non-consumptive users  and ADF&G would therefore use                                                               
the money  in that  way.  He  noted he will  not be  offering the                                                               
amendment  labeled [29-LS0625\N.5,  Bullard, 3/25/15].   He  said                                                               
dedicated funding would be very complicated  to do, so it is back                                                               
to  the  original idea  of  trying  to  allow ADF&G  to  generate                                                               
additional money  from those people  who want to  voluntarily buy                                                               
[a decal] and  support fish and wildlife  conservation in Alaska.                                                               
Nothing directs the money into a dedicated fund, he added.                                                                      
7:50:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON said  he would like to  know whether money                                                               
from [decal sales] could be directed at intensive management.                                                                   
MR.  MULLIGAN  answered that  the  way  this  would be  put  into                                                               
statute right now, it would go  into the general fund and be open                                                               
for  appropriation   for  any  purpose   because  there   are  no                                                               
sideboards.   He  related  that  ADF&G has  talked  at length  to                                                               
Representative  Seaton  about  this  and  ADF&G  understands  his                                                               
intent, but there is nothing that  is binding and so it cannot be                                                               
said with  100 percent  certainty that  that is  how it  would be                                                               
funded.   However,  during every  [legislative] session  money is                                                               
scrutinized  and accounted  for, so  it would  be known  how much                                                               
money  the decal  brought in  and a  determination could  be made                                                               
through the budget process for how to use it.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he brought  this forward  even though                                                               
it  is not  the perfect  amendment because  he thought  the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee should look  at this and be speaking                                                               
on it.   He  said he  hopes the House  Finance Committee  will be                                                               
able to  put some sideboards  on it so  that [the money]  goes to                                                               
the fish  and game fund and  that the correct directions  are put                                                               
on [that  money].  He offered  his hope that the  House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee will  be looking at how to  generate money for                                                               
fish and wildlife conservation.                                                                                                 
7:52:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON understood  that given  that the  state                                                               
constitution  prohibits  dedicated   funds,  these  monies  would                                                               
intermix with general  fund monies and could end up  paying for a                                                               
school teacher in Fairbanks or paving a road in Nome.                                                                           
MR. MULLIGAN replied correct.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR   inquired  whether  a  sentence   could  be                                                               
included  that  says  funds from  conservation  decals  shall  be                                                               
directed  towards education  and  wildlife conservation  efforts.                                                               
She said  she has seen this  kind of language in  other places in                                                               
statute - it is not dedicated, but is directive.                                                                                
MR.  MULLIGAN  responded  that according  to  legal  counsel  the                                                               
closest to get to this is  to say "may" rather than "shall" spend                                                               
the monies  on fish and  wildlife education or fish  and wildlife                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  surmised that the  $15 he spends  for a                                                               
fishing license does not return  to ADF&G's coffers except by the                                                               
legislature's orders - the monies go  to a general fund and ADF&G                                                               
must then make the case that  those are monies that by custom and                                                               
practice should revert back to the department.                                                                                  
MS. HAIGHT answered  that license revenue goes  directly into the                                                               
fish and game fund, not the general fund.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  inquired why  license revenue is  not a                                                               
prohibition on dedicated funds.                                                                                                 
MS. HAIGHT replied it is constitutional.                                                                                        
7:55:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  said he supports Amendment  2 despite his                                                               
earlier statement  that he would  not be supporting any  of these                                                               
amendments.   He  stated he  has  no problem  with [decal]  money                                                               
going to  intensive management and  that it  be left to  ADF&G to                                                               
decide.  He removed his objection to Amendment 2.                                                                               
7:55:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON objected to  Amendment 2, saying he sees                                                               
two  problems with  it.   A fundamental  argument from  people he                                                               
trusts, which  is an argument  that he  agrees with, is  that the                                                               
non-consumptive users  must buy into this  to have a seat  at the                                                               
table.   And,  he  continued, [non-consumptive  users] would  say                                                               
that they do  by buying recreational gear  and attending advisory                                                               
council  meetings  and  all  sorts  of other  things.    A  decal                                                               
purchaser would logically  think that this would help  him or her                                                               
to see wildlife  or fish; however, that isn't  the case, although                                                               
it might be  the case.  So,  the first problem is  that the money                                                               
doesn't go  into the fish and  game fund.  The  second problem is                                                               
that  these  monies  could  end   up  supporting  intensive  game                                                               
management.    He said  he  is  glad that  Representative  Seaton                                                               
expanded  his statement  about  who would  be  buying this  decal                                                               
because it  could be all sorts  of people, from the  vegan to the                                                               
big game hunter and everything in  between.  Tens of thousands of                                                               
Alaskans  are non-consumptive  users  and this  is  the group  of                                                               
people  that feels  under-represented before  the Board  of Game.                                                               
Of the two problems, the first  one is the most difficult because                                                               
the purchaser will believe he  or she is helping wildlife because                                                               
that is  what the decal  is about, but it  may not work  out that                                                               
way.   Therefore, he  cannot support Amendment  2 even  though he                                                               
thinks there needs to be more buy-in.                                                                                           
7:58:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  understood that  the fish  and game  fund is                                                               
constitutional,  but  asked whether  it  is  the constitution  or                                                               
statute that says license fees will  go to the fish and game fund                                                               
and, if  it is statutory,  could this same opportunity  exist for                                                               
decal monies.                                                                                                                   
MR. MULLIGAN responded that the reason  the fish and game fund is                                                               
a  dedicated fund  is because  federal  law requires  there be  a                                                               
dedicated  fund   in  order  to  utilize   Pittman-Robertson  and                                                               
Dingell-Johnson funds, so the state constitution allows that.                                                                   
7:59:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TALERICO commented  that the  purchase of  licenses and                                                               
tags are receipts and not taxes.   Taxes cannot be dedicated, but                                                               
he believes receipts can be directed  and so that is why receipts                                                               
from those purchases can be put into  that fund.  While he is not                                                               
crazy about  everything that intensive management  does, he said,                                                               
he   believes  that   sometimes  intensive   management  actually                                                               
provides more  opportunities for  people to  see game  because of                                                               
the management of  the populations and the ability  to have those                                                               
populations thrive.                                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  TALERICO noted  that the  objection to  Amendment 2  is                                                               
still maintained.                                                                                                               
8:00:24 PM                                                                                                                    
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Herron, Johnson,                                                               
Olson,  Seaton,  and Talerico  voted  in  favor of  Amendment  2.                                                               
Representatives Josephson and Tarr  voted against it.  Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 2 was adopted by a vote of 5-2.                                                                                       
8:01:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TALERICO invited discussion of the amended bill.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON expressed  his  concern  with raising  the                                                               
annual family  gross income  from less than  $8,200 to  less than                                                               
[$29,820].  He asked how  many more Alaska residents will qualify                                                               
if this minimum income is raised as proposed.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  responded he  doesn't know  that answer,                                                               
but said he  selected that number because $29,820  is the poverty                                                               
level for a  family of four, which he thinks  is a baseline level                                                               
for when those should be provided.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  asked what the  fiscal impact would  be on                                                               
the revenue stream if it is raised from $8,200 to $29,820.                                                                      
CO-CHAIR TALERICO answered he is unsure.                                                                                        
MR. MULLIGAN said the best answer  that can be given at this time                                                               
is that  while the threshold level  is raised, there is  also the                                                               
removal of  assistance eligibility, which  kind of evens  it out.                                                               
Currently,  when a  person comes  in  for a  low income  license,                                                               
ADF&G doesn't know  whether that person is  meeting the threshold                                                               
level for  annual family  gross income  or qualifying  because of                                                               
being on  assistance.  Therefore, there  is no way to  provide an                                                               
answer at this point in time.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  requested  the  sponsor  to  direct  this                                                               
question to  the House Finance  Committee, saying it needs  to be                                                               
known what the fiscal impact will be to the revenue stream.                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  TALERICO  agreed to  pass  the  question to  the  House                                                               
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
8:04:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said the aforementioned  is also of concern                                                               
to him because $29,820 is poverty  level for a family of four but                                                               
not for a single person.   He requested that this threshold level                                                               
be  addressed separately  for a  family and  for a  single person                                                               
rather than a situation of one size fits all.                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR TALERICO agreed the House  Finance Committee should look                                                               
into this.  He  shared that when he looked at  this he was jolted                                                               
to find that in  2014 the level of income was  $8,200 in order to                                                               
qualify for that license, which  seems to be substantially low in                                                               
2014 dollars.                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  said she  is pleased  to see  this provision                                                               
because  she represents  a district  that  is a  moderate to  low                                                               
income  and many  people in  her district  have the  potential to                                                               
benefit from this increase in  income threshold.  She pointed out                                                               
that  the  committee  did  not deal  today  with  the  compromise                                                               
nonresident fee  proposal brought  forth by  some of  the hunting                                                               
groups, something  she is very interested  in.  She said  she had                                                               
an  amendment  drafted  because  there  is  the  opportunity  for                                                               
securing  important  federal dollars,  but  noted  that there  is                                                               
similar interest in  the House Finance Committee  where she hopes                                                               
to see  the amendment happen  rather than causing any  delay with                                                               
the bill right now.                                                                                                             
8:08:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  OLSON  moved  to report  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute,  version 29-LS0625\N,  Bullard, 3/16/15,  as amended,                                                               
out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and  attached                                                               
fiscal note and  pending fiscal note.  There  being no objection,                                                               
CSHB  137(RES) was  reported from  the  House Resources  Standing                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB 137 - Consolidated Letters of Support - 3-24-15.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
CSHB 137 - Letter of Support - BOG Chairman Spraker - 3-19-15.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
CSHB 137 - Letter of Support - Dan Dunaway.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
CSHB 137 - Letter of Support - Keith Woodworth.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
CSHB 137 - Letter of Support - Kenai River Sportfishing Association - 3-20-15.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
CSHB 137 - Letter of Support - Rebecca Schwanke.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
HB 137 2015-License Fee Increase- Spraker.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - J White Comments.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - W Schock LOS.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 Amendment N.1.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - M McCray Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 Additional Letters of Support.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - Opposition Letters.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 Amendment N.3.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 Testimony - Kenai River Special Mgmt Area Advisory Board.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - E Wolf Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - D Zwiefelhofer LOS.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - R Highland Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 - A Wieland Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 M Luttrell Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 L Gorman Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 J Lancaster Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 R Mouw Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 L Trasky Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 J Wiles Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137
3.25.15 HRES HB 137 L Ashmun Testimony.pdf HRES 3/25/2015 6:00:00 PM
HB 137