Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

04/14/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:02:21 PM Start
01:03:29 PM HB177
01:06:20 PM Presentation: Ak Gasline Development Corporation Status Update
02:24:23 PM HB211
02:56:16 PM HB201
03:11:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: AK Gasline Development Corp. TELECONFERENCED
Status Update
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Moved CSHB 177(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Moved CSHB 211(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
            HB 201-MUNICIPAL REGULATION OF TRAPPING                                                                         
2:56:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that the  final order  of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL  NO.  201, "An  Act  relating to  municipal                                                               
regulation of trapping; and providing for an effective date."                                                                   
Before the committee was CSHB 201 (CRA).                                                                                        
2:56:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MEGAN ROWE, staff to Representative  Andy Josephson, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor,  informed the  committee the purpose  of HB
201  is to  allow  municipalities to  regulate  trapping for  the                                                               
specific  purpose of  preventing injury  to persons  or property,                                                               
including  domestic  animals.     In  the  process  of  committee                                                               
deliberations  on HB  40 -  which  proposed a  state-wide ban  on                                                               
trapping  within  two hundred  feet  of  certain public  areas  -                                                               
public  testimony  and  testimony   from  members  of  the  House                                                               
Resources  Standing Committee  was  heard that  this  is a  local                                                               
issue better  met by  "more narrowly  tailored ordinances  at the                                                               
municipal level."   Thus, the  bill would  specifically authorize                                                               
municipalities to  enact ordinances,  and "clear  up any  kind of                                                               
legal confusion over whether they are able to under state law."                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH    expressed   his    understanding   that                                                               
communities such  as the  Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su)  Borough and                                                               
the  Municipality   of  Anchorage  are  establishing   laws,  and                                                               
questioned whether  there was any  confusion, or a need  for more                                                               
MS. ROWE  explained the confusion  stems from arguments  that the                                                               
state has plenary  control over the management of  game, which is                                                               
a principle derived from the  state constitution and in Title 29,                                                               
which  specifies  municipalities  can  only  indirectly  regulate                                                               
game.    In  fact,  testimony  before  the  House  Community  and                                                               
Regional  Affairs  Standing  Committee  (CRA)  presented  by  the                                                               
Department  of Law  advised  municipalities  should not  regulate                                                               
trapping.   The  bill would  prevent the  state from  challenging                                                               
municipalities' regulations  related to  trapping.   For example,                                                               
the Municipality  of Skagway has  disallowed trapping  within its                                                               
boundaries; however,  the Board of Game  (BOG), Alaska Department                                                               
of  Fish &  Game,  allows  trapping there,  which  has created  a                                                               
conflict between  the municipality  and BOG.   She restated  if a                                                               
municipality  seeks  to  regulate  trapping for  the  health  and                                                               
safety of  its residents, and  to prevent damage to  animals, the                                                               
bill  would  allow it  to  do  so,  without  a challenge  to  its                                                               
regulations by the state.   Ms. Rowe said about 15 municipalities                                                               
already   have  related   regulations  that   require  clarifying                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH restated  his understanding that regulations                                                               
in  the   Matanuska-Susitna  Borough  and  the   Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage are serving their purpose.                                                                                            
MS. ROWE referred  to documents included in  the committee packet                                                               
[a  memorandum   addressed  to  the   Matanuska-Susitna  (Mat-Su)                                                               
Borough  mayor  and  assembly members  from  the  Mat-Su  Borough                                                               
Attorney's Office,  dated 12/17/13,  and a document  addressed to                                                               
Lynn Mitchell CPA, from the  Law Office of Kneeland Taylor, dated                                                               
2/3/17] and  said the  documents outline  two different  sides of                                                               
the issue.   She also  directed attention to a  document included                                                               
in  the  committee packet  [addressed  to  the Alaska  boards  of                                                               
fisheries  and  game,  ADFG,  from the  Office  of  the  Attorney                                                               
General,  File  No.  166-486-82,  dated  11/19/82]  which  stated                                                               
municipalities cannot  regulate game  and trapping  directly, but                                                               
can do  so with a  merely incidental  effect.  She  concluded the                                                               
question  remains undefined.   The  bill would  ensure that  when                                                               
municipalities  are regulating  for  the purposes  of health  and                                                               
safety,  and  protecting  property,   the  regulations  would  be                                                               
constitutional under state law.                                                                                                 
3:02:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR   JOSEPHSON  clarified   that   eight   or  nine   local                                                               
governments  have attempted  to regulate  trapping, and  the bill                                                               
limits authority to  "within the borders that  ... represent that                                                               
municipality, trapping  could be regulated."   He posited  that a                                                               
pro-trapping stance may  be:  Banning trapping in  a borough over                                                               
the size of  some states is "unthinkable."  However,  in the case                                                               
of public  safety and competing  interests, there may be  a local                                                               
desire to regulate trapping in some way.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH opined  the  bill  would prevent  eventual                                                               
litigation between the state and municipalities in this regard.                                                                 
MS. ROWE agreed, although she  questioned whether the state would                                                               
have  reason to  challenge ordinances  unless a  greater conflict                                                               
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON advised  the bill  is very  flexible in  that                                                               
local governments can  exempt trappers as well.   He recalled CRA                                                               
added subsection (d) to the bill  [on page 2, lines 13-15,] which                                                               
          (d)   A  municipality may  not enact  an ordinance                                                                    
     under   this   section   that   eliminates   reasonable                                                                    
     opportunities for  subsistence trapping of  game within                                                                    
     its boundaries.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  expressed his  belief that  the Division                                                               
of   Wildlife  Troopers,   DPS,   does   not  enforce   municipal                                                               
3:06:51 PM                                                                                                                    
BERNARD CHASTAIN, Major,  Deputy Director, Headquarters, Division                                                               
of Alaska  Wildlife Troopers, DPS, responded  the Alaska Wildlife                                                               
Troopers  do not  enforce municipal  or  borough code,  therefore                                                               
enforcement of  any regulations  created by  municipalities under                                                               
the  proposed bill  would have  to  be done  by police  agencies,                                                               
borough code  enforcement officers,  or those given  authority to                                                               
do so by the municipality or borough.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON concluded an  ordinance or regulation would be                                                               
enforced as strongly as determined  by the funding and the desire                                                               
of the local government.                                                                                                        
MAJOR CHASTAIN  said, "That  would be  our interpretation  of it,                                                               
because we  do not enforce  that regulation.   It would be  up to                                                               
the  municipality  or  the  borough   to  decide  what  level  of                                                               
enforcement they want to put on that regulation."                                                                               
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  asked  for Major  Chastain's  opinion  about                                                               
whether BOG  tries to  honor and comply  with ordinances  on this                                                               
MAJOR CHASTAIN advised there are  regulations put in place by BOG                                                               
that  specifically restrict  trapping in  certain trail  areas in                                                               
response to proposals brought before BOG.                                                                                       
3:09:51 PM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE DALE,  director, Division  of Wildlife  Conservation, ADFG,                                                               
added  BOG  looks at  every  local  situation on  a  case-by-case                                                               
basis.  [BOG] has "mimicked"  or "mirrored" local ordinances, for                                                               
example, Anchorage  had a certain  restriction in place,  and BOG                                                               
subsequently  banned   all  trapping   in  the   Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage.   In  other areas,  BOG  has created  areas closed  to                                                               
trapping in the absence of a local ordinance.                                                                                   
[HB 201 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AGDC House Resources Committee Presentation 4.14.17.pdf HRES 4/14/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB201 Supporting Document - Legal Memos re MatSu Trapping 2013.pdf HRES 4/14/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201