Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/27/2018 06:30 PM House RESOURCES

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06:36:25 PM Start
06:37:35 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
07:24:54 PM HCR23
08:23:53 PM HB354
08:26:54 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Meeting Rescheduled from 3/26/18--
+ Confirmation Hearing: Board of Game TELECONFERENCED
-- Public Testimony --
Moved HB 354 Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHCR 23(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
         HCR 23-PROTECT WILDLIFE FROM FOREIGN PATHOGENS                                                                     
7:24:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO. 23, Supporting  enhanced efforts                                                               
to  protect  wildlife and  domestic  animals  in the  state  from                                                               
infectious   diseases,   foreign    pathogens,   and   nonendemic                                                               
CO-CHAIR TARR noted public testimony on  HCR 23 was closed at the                                                               
resolution's  last  hearing  and   that  testimony  at  tonight's                                                               
hearing would be invited testimony only.                                                                                        
7:25:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR moved to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON requested  the  committee  hear from  the                                                               
state  veterinarian or  the Alaska  Department of  Fish and  Game                                                               
(ADF&G) before taking up amendments.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR TARR withdrew the motion to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                         
7:26:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  requested  Dr.  Gerlach  to  provide  an                                                               
overview  of  how  he,  as  the  state  veterinarian,  fills  his                                                               
responsibility to  manage [Mycoplasma  ovipneumoniae (M.  ovi), a                                                               
respiratory pathogen of wild and  domestic sheep and goats].  She                                                               
further asked what Dr. Gerlach thinks lawmakers should do.                                                                      
ROBERT   GERLACH,   DVM,    State   Veterinarian,   Division   of                                                               
Environmental  Health, Department  of Environmental  Conservation                                                               
(DEC),  replied the  responsibility of  the Office  of the  State                                                               
Veterinarian is to  maintain animal health and  to control issues                                                               
such as  outbreak of disease  that would threaten  populations of                                                               
animals and  to move forward in  reducing that threat.   He added                                                               
that  this  authority  is  spread over  both  wild  and  domestic                                                               
animals that are living as well as dead.                                                                                        
DR. GERLACH  stressed that  M. ovi is  a very  complicated issue.                                                               
The [current]  general understanding,  he explained, is  from the                                                               
issues  and events  that have  happened in  the Lower  48 with  a                                                               
different  population   of  animals  that  are   under  different                                                               
stressors than is  had in Alaska's population.   With the current                                                               
concern,  his office  began a  surveillance  program in  domestic                                                               
animals to determine  the prevalence of the  pathogen in Alaska's                                                               
domestic sheep and  goats.  His office is  working with producers                                                               
to understand  how they  manage their herds  and flocks  for bio-                                                               
security of  their health to  prevent introduction and  spread of                                                               
disease.   At the same  time, he  continued, ADF&G began  a study                                                               
looking at the  many different Mycoplasma species  - including M.                                                               
ovi - and those test results  detected M. ovi in [wild] sheep and                                                               
goats throughout the state.                                                                                                     
DR. GERLACH said  his office and ADF&G are  working to understand                                                               
how the strains  in wild populations and the  strains in domestic                                                               
livestock are  related.  Next  is to understand  the implications                                                               
of  that and  whether there  is any  stress to  Alaska's wild  or                                                               
domestic  animals.   His office  and ADF&G  are currently  in the                                                               
early stages of that finding, he  continued, but the good news is                                                               
that at this  time ADF&G hasn't detected any  negative impacts in                                                               
the [wild] populations  in which the M. ovi was  found.  The same                                                               
has occurred  with the domestic  population where  the prevalence                                                               
of M. ovi is about 4 percent.   The prevalence in wildlife is yet                                                               
to  be determined,  but early  indications are  between 9  and 12                                                               
percent  of  the  individual population,  but  not  many  animals                                                               
overall have  been tested.   There are  about 1,000  more samples                                                               
that ADF&G  has collected  and sent for  analysis, he  added, and                                                               
these  will  provide  further   information  on  this  particular                                                               
pathogen and  help in  understanding what  the threats  are, what                                                               
threats are  of concern, if  any, and  what actions can  be taken                                                               
besides the direct action that  is being worked on with producers                                                               
to decrease wild and domestic  stock interaction.  He pointed out                                                               
the concern  isn't just  M. ovi  - many  pathogens can  be spread                                                               
between wildlife and domestic animals.                                                                                          
7:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER observed  from  an  ADF&G document  that                                                               
ADF&G has detected nine  more cases of M. ovi in  Dall sheep.  He                                                               
inquired  how  the  state  veterinarian's office  is  or  is  not                                                               
interacting with ADFG.                                                                                                          
DR.  GERLACH  responded  that  test  findings  are  being  shared                                                               
between  the  wildlife  biologist and  wildlife  veterinarian  in                                                               
ADF&G  and   the  director  in   his  office,  as  well   as  the                                                               
interpretation of that data.                                                                                                    
7:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  observed a 3/20/18  press release states  that new                                                               
findings suggest the  pathogen is more widespread  and that three                                                               
strains  have  been  identified in  preliminary  analysis.    She                                                               
offered her  understanding that there  is more concern  about the                                                               
M.  ovi, but  asked  whether  there is  concern  about the  other                                                               
strains identified or if it is still too early to know.                                                                         
DR. GERLACH  answered that an  understanding of this is  still at                                                               
the very  early stages.   Multiple  strains of  M. ovi  have been                                                               
identified,  he  said,  as  well   as  some  detection  of  other                                                               
Mycoplasma,  such  as  Mycoplasma conjunctiva  and  a  Mycoplasma                                                               
conjunctiva-like organism,  along with others that  are still yet                                                               
to be identified.   The difference between what is  being seen in                                                               
Alaska compared  to the  Lower 48  is that the  Lower 48  has had                                                               
sporadic die-offs and  mortality events for the  past 40-50 years                                                               
in bighorn sheep that have been  studied for this.  Only recently                                                               
has M. ovi been identified as  a primary pathogen in this disease                                                               
process.  In  that regard, he continued, it is  very difficult to                                                               
look at  and to understand all  that is involved with  respect to                                                               
the current findings in Alaska.                                                                                                 
7:35:58 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER, referring  to the  map provided  in the                                                               
committee packet,  observed that the  areas with positive  M. ovi                                                               
test results  go all the way  up to the Arctic  National Wildlife                                                               
Refuge (ANWR)  and nearly as far  south as Seward, as  well as in                                                               
Game  Management  Unit 13,  and  "below  Tok,  going out  to  the                                                               
Canadian  border."   Given  how  large of  an  area  this is,  he                                                               
requested  Dr.  Gerlach   to  provide  his  opinion   as  to  how                                                               
widespread this pathogen really is.                                                                                             
DR.  GERLACH  replied  the   identification  of  such  widespread                                                               
distribution  from  the  Brooks  Range  to  the  Kenai  Peninsula                                                               
requires  looking at  alternative understandings  of the  initial                                                               
identification of  this organism as  non-endemic.  There  isn't a                                                               
lot of interaction  with livestock in some  of these far-reaching                                                               
populations and there aren't very  close connections between some                                                               
of these  populations, like the ones  on the North Slope  and the                                                               
other populations  identified.   So, he  said, from  a scientific                                                               
standpoint there  must be a  questioning of how to  interpret and                                                               
understand this new information.                                                                                                
DR. GERLACH stated it is going  to be very important to test this                                                               
species  that may  then  be  able to  carry  and distribute  this                                                               
pathogen,   and  that   gets  down   to  more   basic  scientific                                                               
understanding of the pathogen.   Initially it was understood that                                                               
it was just  carried by Caprinae   sheep, goats,  muskoxen.  But,                                                               
he continued, if other species could  carry this and be a vector,                                                               
then  maybe  that  is  how   the  pathogen  was  transmitted  and                                                               
interacting through  these widespread populations.   Or, he said,                                                               
maybe this  is a different  strain of  a pathogen or  bacteria in                                                               
the wild population  and it is unknown for how  long.  While that                                                               
may  seem unlikely,  he noted,  he  thinks it  is something  that                                                               
needs to be considered to understand what is going on here.                                                                     
DR. GERLACH  offered his  belief that  the information  ADF&G has                                                               
gathered  with  this   very  important  study  is   going  to  be                                                               
groundbreaking in the understanding  of this particular pathogen,                                                               
the interaction  now between wildlife  and domestic  animals, and                                                               
how   to  deal   with   these  interactions   and  the   possible                                                               
transmission of pathogens between the two groups.                                                                               
7:40:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  recalled that previous  discussions were                                                               
looking at roughly  4 percent on the domestic side  and 4 percent                                                               
on  the wildlife  side as  far  as those  that may  have M.  ovi.                                                               
Given the new information, he  inquired whether this could be the                                                               
tip of an iceberg.                                                                                                              
DR. GERLACH responded  it is very possible.   An understanding of                                                               
some of these  pathogens, he explained, is  that their prevalence                                                               
can  be  dependent  on  the overall  population  density  of  the                                                               
animals.   In  an animal  population that  is widespread  and not                                                               
concentrated, there  may be less  chance for that pathogen  to be                                                               
spread among  those animals if  direct contact is needed,  and so                                                               
there would be low prevalence.   That would be reflective of what                                                               
is  seen  with [Alaska's]  domestic  animals,  because in  larger                                                               
herds or  flocks in the  Lower 48  there is a  larger prevalence,                                                               
which has  been noted  by U.S.  Department of  Agriculture (USDA)                                                               
studies.   The populations in  Alaska are smaller  and widespread                                                               
and have a lower incidence, which supports that theory.                                                                         
DR. GERLACH added that as  ADF&G does more testing and evaluation                                                               
of wildlife it may be found that  the prevalence of the M. ovi is                                                               
less in  certain areas  where the  populations are  widespread or                                                               
there  aren't  congregation  points  where the  pathogen  can  be                                                               
spread.   He described it as  being similar to what  is seen when                                                               
children  are  healthy and  running  around  the house  but  once                                                               
school starts  they are in  close connection in a  schoolroom and                                                               
one person  with a cold virus  spreads it to the  others who then                                                               
bring  it home  to their  families.   So, he  continued, it  is a                                                               
density  issue with  respect to  interaction and  the ability  to                                                               
spread that pathogen and then the overall prevalence.                                                                           
7:42:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked whether  more [test] results would be                                                               
coming in next week.                                                                                                            
DR. GERLACH explained the lab  processes the tests in batches, so                                                               
there can  be a slow  trickle or lumps  of information at  a time                                                               
returned to ADF&G depending on  the workload at the laboratories.                                                               
The process can  be slower than some  diagnostic laboratories, he                                                               
said,  because after  the  initial  test is  run  the actual  DNA                                                               
material from the  pathogen is collected and sent  off to another                                                               
laboratory  where it  is genetically  sequenced  to identify  the                                                               
specific strain of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH inquired  whether, after  receiving a  few                                                               
genetic sequences,  single nucleotide polymorphisms will  be used                                                               
to estimate  how closely  related these  various strains  are and                                                               
how long they have been present in Alaska's game populations.                                                                   
DR.  GERLACH replied  that that  is exactly  what the  scientists                                                               
working on this  hope to identify.  They will  set up a phylogeny                                                               
tree to  look at relatedness between  those.  Then they  may look                                                               
at specific  gene points for  changes or mutations in  those gene                                                               
points to make  predictions about how long they may  have been in                                                               
the population, which would give a  better idea of the biology of                                                               
this particular pathogen.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH said he looks  forward to getting an update                                                               
on  that  and,   if  possible,  to  learning   where  the  source                                                               
ultimately came  from in broad  terms, such as from  another wild                                                               
goat or sheep population in the Lower 48 or from domestic stock.                                                                
DR. GERLACH responded that result  is definitely what ADF&G hopes                                                               
to obtain  in its  important work  to understand  this particular                                                               
pathogen and its effect on wildlife and domestic populations.                                                                   
7:46:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH noted  that no Dall sheep  or mountain goats                                                               
have died from this affliction.   He observed from the map that a                                                               
couple of the animals were east  of Prudhoe Bay and maybe east of                                                               
the Arctic  National Wildlife Refuge  (ANWR) on the  North Slope.                                                               
He asked  whether Dr.  Gerlach has any  ideas given  this doesn't                                                               
seem  to  be an  area  where  there  would be  many  domesticated                                                               
[animals] that could have impacted this population.                                                                             
DR. GERLACH  agreed and added that  it looks like this  is a very                                                               
isolated population.   He said it will be interesting  to see how                                                               
the  strain of  Mycoplasma  ovipneumoniae that  is identified  in                                                               
those  particular  animals relates  back  to  different groups                                                                  
whether it is  different than the group from GMU  26B and GMU 26C                                                               
and if that is different from what  is found in GMU 13.  There is                                                               
much to  learn, he continued,  including the impact  and negative                                                               
response on  a wildlife population  and whether there is  time to                                                               
gather  and  understand this  to  make  appropriate decisions  in                                                               
management.   He said it  is much easier  for him to  control and                                                               
manage  a  domestic  population  that is  confined  and  easy  to                                                               
identify and regulate.   But management is  very complicated when                                                               
dealing  with wildlife  where  oftentimes  populations cannot  be                                                               
totally identified  and can be  very widespread.  He  offered his                                                               
appreciation to ADF&G biologists for their work.                                                                                
7:48:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON inquired  whether there are strains  of M. ovi                                                               
that are fatal to wild, but not domestic, animals.                                                                              
DR. GERLACH  explained that different  strains of M. ovi  seem to                                                               
have different  virulence factors that  make them more  likely to                                                               
cause respiratory  infection given  the right combination.   This                                                               
respiratory disease is very complex  in regard to how it exhibits                                                               
itself in both  wild and domestic animals.   Generally a specific                                                               
set of  factors is needed  with the  mycoplasma as well  as other                                                               
respiratory pathogens  present and oftentimes other  stressors on                                                               
the animal's condition, he said.   The stressor can be related to                                                               
genetic  susceptibility, population  density,  nutrition, and  to                                                               
animal concentrations, access to water,  and other resources.  It                                                               
makes  it very  difficult to  go ahead  since not  much is  known                                                               
about  this  pathogen  with  respect to  other  pathogens.    For                                                               
example,  Dr. Gerlach  continued,  the  Pasteurella bacteria  has                                                               
been studied for 40-100 years  in both wild and domestic animals.                                                               
Certain  genes have  been identified  on  these Pasteurella  that                                                               
produce  certain toxins.   One  known gene  produces toxins  that                                                               
affect  the white  blood cells  and these  strains are  much more                                                               
virulent and deadly to animals than  the strains that do not have                                                               
those  lipotoxin  genes.   Not  much  is  known about  the  whole                                                               
genomic structure of these mycoplasma,  he noted, and this is one                                                               
reason why ADF&G's  study is so critical to  understanding and to                                                               
future management of both the wild and domestic populations.                                                                    
7:51:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER referred to page  2, first bullet, of the                                                               
document  provided by  the Alaska  Wild  Sheep Foundation,  which                                                               
states that  M. ovi is a  foreign pathogen not endemic  to Alaska                                                               
wildlife.   He asked  whether it's  possible there  is an  M. ovi                                                               
that is endemic to Alaskan wildlife.                                                                                            
DR GERLACH answered  he thinks that needs to  be considered given                                                               
the recent identification in remote  populations.  It needs to be                                                               
tested in  a scientific manner  to be  able to prove  that point.                                                               
He  said it's  important to  make management  decisions for  both                                                               
domestic and  wild populations  based on fact  in science  and to                                                               
not be  swayed by  fear and emotion.   The focus  needs to  be on                                                               
what is had at  hand and what the understanding is.   That is not                                                               
say  there is  a  guarantee,  he added,  because  no  can give  a                                                               
guarantee on  dealing with  any disease  or medical  condition as                                                               
there is  always a  number of  factors involved.   By  looking at                                                               
what the impact  on the population is now  and closely monitoring                                                               
them, he  continued, management  decisions can  be made  that are                                                               
going  to be  most effective  to the  population without  causing                                                               
undue harm  or damage  to the  overall use  of that  wildlife and                                                               
domestic resource for the residents of the state of Alaska.                                                                     
7:53:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  asked whether Dr. Gerlach  is reasonably                                                               
confident that  the strain or  strains will be identified  in the                                                               
very near future.                                                                                                               
DR. GERLACH replied that strain typing  is being done on just one                                                               
portion  of  the entire  genome  or  DNA sequence  of  Mycoplasma                                                               
ovipneumoniae, so  there will be limitations  and restrictions in                                                               
understanding  the  strain according  to  that.   The  only  true                                                               
evaluation  of  strains  occurs   when  there  is  whole  genomic                                                               
sequencing and  that probably  won't happen any  time soon.   For                                                               
example, he  explained, it was  not too  long ago that  the human                                                               
genome  was totally  sequenced, and  this took  over 10  years of                                                               
very  intense  research.   Given  the  understanding of  specific                                                               
portions of the genomic sequence of  the M. ovi, he said, experts                                                               
in this field  should be able to make some  very good predictions                                                               
by   looking  at   those  comparisons   and   getting  a   better                                                               
understanding of the  relatedness to them and  the possibility of                                                               
how long they may have been circulating in these populations.                                                                   
7:56:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR moved to adopt  Amendment 1, labeled 30-LS1434\A.1,                                                               
Gardner, 3/21/18, which read:                                                                                                   
     Page 1, line 6, following the first occurrence of                                                                          
          Insert "livestock and"                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 13, following "science-based":                                                                                
          Insert "livestock and"                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 2, following "to":                                                                                            
     Insert "domestic animals and"                                                                                              
     REPRESENTATIVE PARISH objected for purposes of                                                                             
7:57:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  explained the  amendments she  is offering  to the                                                               
committee came through working with  the Alaska Farm Bureau, Inc.                                                               
and trying to  strike the right balance between  the concerns and                                                               
the potential  for growth  in Alaska's  livestock industry.   She                                                               
noted the  title of HCR  23 states, "Supporting  enhanced efforts                                                               
to  protect  wildlife  and  domestic   animals".    However,  she                                                               
continued,  domestic animals  are not  referenced in  the WHEREAS                                                               
clauses.   Amendment 1  would add "livestock  and" in  two places                                                               
and ["domestic  animals and"  in one place].   This  would ensure                                                               
that both wild and domestic animals are referenced, she said.                                                                   
7:58:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  stated  he  has  some  trouble  with  the                                                               
proposed  language  of  Amendment   1  because  he  believes  the                                                               
language  in the  bill  on page  2, lines  4-8,  and the  WHEREAS                                                               
clause following  those lines gets  to the purpose of  the title.                                                               
To  the specific  changes proposed  by Amendment  1, he  said the                                                               
bill's present  language reads true  and stands well on  its own.                                                               
While he personally recognizes the  value of domestic animals, he                                                               
stated,  he  has  trouble  diluting  the  message  in  this  way.                                                               
Additionally, he  continued, he  isn't sure it's  completely true                                                               
that the  state subscribes to science-based  livestock management                                                               
because  fundamentally  the  entity  that  manages  livestock  is                                                               
private  individuals  and not  the  state.   Private  individuals                                                               
manage  livestock,   he  added,   while  wildlife  is   a  common                                                               
possession  that  belongs  to  every   Alaskan  and  it  is  very                                                               
appropriate the state manage wildlife in common.                                                                                
8:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  stated the title of  the resolution does                                                               
refer  to both  wildlife and  domestic animals,  but beyond  that                                                               
there is no mention of livestock  or domestic animals.  It is his                                                               
dream, he said, that as  things advance forward everyone comes to                                                               
the table  to deal with  this.   Based on his  conversations with                                                               
people on  both sides of  the issue,  he said, it  is appropriate                                                               
there not  be a disconnect  at any point  in the resolution.   He                                                               
doesn't want to  see a big divide, he continued,  and he supports                                                               
Amendment 1 because the proposed language is appropriate.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER said  he isn't  speaking for  or against                                                               
Amendment  1,   but  noted  the  definition   of  "intrinsic"  is                                                               
eradicable and he is wondering how that fits.                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON agreed with Representative Parish's points.                                                                  
8:03:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  pointed out  the state is  involved any  time that                                                               
livestock is  imported into Alaska  and strict safeguards  are in                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH maintained his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                  
8:03:38 PM                                                                                                                    
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Rauscher, Talerico,                                                               
Lincoln, Drummond,  Birch, Johnson,  and Tarr  voted in  favor of                                                               
Amendment 1.  Representatives Parish  and Josephson voted against                                                               
it.  Therefore, Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 7-2.                                                                       
8:04:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR moved to adopt  Amendment 2, labeled 30-LS1434\A.2,                                                               
Gardner, 3/21/18, which read:                                                                                                   
     Page 1, following line 9:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new resolution clause to read:                                                                               
     "WHEREAS Alaska's livestock industry has the greatest                                                                    
         potential to provide protein for Alaska's food                                                                         
     security; and"                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH objected.                                                                                                 
8:04:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR explained  that Amendment  2 also  came up  in her                                                               
talks  with  agriculture folks.    She  reminded members  of  the                                                               
enthusiasm it  has heard this session  specifically for livestock                                                               
production and  noted the  budget is  being looked  at to  fund a                                                               
veterinarian in the  Division of Agriculture so  the division can                                                               
do more in that area.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR TARR moved to adopt  a friendly amendment to Amendment 2                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
     Delete "the greatest"                                                                                                      
     Insert "great"                                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  TARR explained  this friendly  amendment would  be more                                                               
accurate and  is an effort  toward bringing everyone  together on                                                               
this issue.                                                                                                                     
There being no  objection, the friendly amendment  to Amendment 2                                                               
was adopted.  Amendment 2, as amended, read as follows:                                                                         
     WHEREAS   Alaska's   livestock   industry   has   great                                                                    
     potential to provide protein for Alaska' food                                                                              
     security, and                                                                                                              
8:06:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH stated that  the effort throughout [HCR 23]                                                               
is  to pair  domestic and  wildlife and  therefore it  would seem                                                               
appropriate to have some nod to  the importance of wild game as a                                                               
protein source.  However, he  continued, he doesn't have language                                                               
drafted  to that  effect and  he doesn't  intend to  conceptually                                                               
amend Amendment 2.  He  offered his appreciation for the friendly                                                               
amendment and withdrew his objection to Amendment 2.                                                                            
8:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON objected to Amendment  2, as amended.  He said                                                               
he is concerned because the  overwhelming support he has received                                                               
was  for  the  resolution  as   previously  written  (80  for,  5                                                               
against).  The support was  almost entirely from people concerned                                                               
about wild sheep populations, he  continued, and he is afraid the                                                               
committee has already lost track of  that.  Were it another state                                                               
where  there  was a  robust  industry  of domestic  husbandry  of                                                               
animals he would view this  differently and certainly the economy                                                               
and politics of it would be different.    The impetus for HCR 23,                                                               
he explained,  was a real concern  for what had happened  to wild                                                               
populations in  the Western states  and the amendment  takes this                                                               
away  from the  resolution.    It is  arguably  a true  statement                                                               
standing  alone, he  said, but  it takes  the resolution  further                                                               
away from what was supposed  to be principally, but not entirely,                                                               
on infectious diseases in wildlife.                                                                                             
8:08:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  agreed with Co-Chair Josephson,  sponsor of                                                               
HCR 23.   He said  Amendment 2, as  amended, takes away  from the                                                               
emphasis.  The emphasis and focus  of the resolution have been on                                                               
the wildlife resources  more than the domestics, he  said, and he                                                               
will vote no on the amendment.                                                                                                  
8:09:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  offered her  closing comments  on Amendment  2, as                                                               
amended.   If this gets pushed  in the direction of  one resource                                                               
over  the  other, she  said,  her  concern  is the  history  that                                                               
brought this conversation to the  committee, which was an attempt                                                               
to eliminate  the livestock industry  from Alaska as a  result of                                                               
concerns.   Many  things  happened at  the Board  of  Game and  a                                                               
working group  was formed.   She  said she wants  it to  be clear                                                               
from  her perspective  that there  is a  way to  do science-based                                                               
management  that  can  protect  both  the  state's  wildlife  and                                                               
domestic  animals and  allow for  growth in  this segment  of the                                                               
state's agriculture industry  at a time when it  is really needed                                                               
for  food security  as well  as economic  opportunity.   There is                                                               
concern  from the  agriculture side  of things,  she noted,  that                                                               
these  positive test  results  are not  well  understood and  not                                                               
clear on where the  exposure occurred or how long ago.   So far a                                                               
lot of the pressure has been in  the direction of it being a more                                                               
recent interaction with a domestic  animal, but it was heard from                                                               
the scientists that there is no  real evidence of that.  She said                                                               
for these  reasons she wants  to strive  for balance.   While the                                                               
concern is  real, she  added, it  overwhelms the  opportunity for                                                               
livestock folks.                                                                                                                
8:11:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER commented  that with  everything he  has                                                               
been  reading and  with  more information  to  come forward  next                                                               
week, his thought  is that more questions should  be asked before                                                               
going further.                                                                                                                  
8:11:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON maintained his objection.                                                                                    
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Johnson, Drummond,                                                               
and   Tarr  voted   in  favor   of  Amendment   2,  as   amended.                                                               
Representatives Talerico,  Lincoln, Parish, Birch,  Rauscher, and                                                               
Josephson voted against it.   Therefore, Amendment 2, as amended,                                                               
failed by a vote of 3-6.                                                                                                        
8:13:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR stated she would not offer Amendment 3.                                                                           
8:13:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR moved to adopt  Amendment 4, labeled 30-LS1434\A.4,                                                               
Gardner, 3/21/18, which read:                                                                                                   
     Page 2, lines 9 - 11:                                                                                                      
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
     "BE  IT  RESOLVED  that the  Alaska  State  Legislature                                                                  
     encourages  agencies  to  gather  information,  perform                                                                    
     tests,  and   collect  data  on   infectious  diseases,                                                                    
     foreign  pathogens,  and  nonendemic parasites  in  the                                                                    
     state  to make  science-based  management decisions  to                                                                    
     protect the state's wildlife  and domestic animals from                                                                    
     infectious diseases, foreign  pathogens, and nonendemic                                                                    
     parasites; and be it"                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  objected  to  Amendment 4  for  purposes  of                                                               
8:13:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  explained Amendment 4  has the same  basic thought                                                               
as the original  bill language, but is a bit  more descriptive in                                                               
that it is  more specific in what the enhanced  efforts might be.                                                               
She said  it also suggests  support for doing the  testing, which                                                               
was  brought  forward  as  something   the  [Alaska]  Wild  Sheep                                                               
Foundation  supports.   The key  thing  here, she  added, is  the                                                               
gathering of information and performing  of tests to ensure there                                                               
aren't  inaccurate  suggestions  about  the  prevalence  of  this                                                               
particular  pathogen,  its origin,  and  its  potential to  cause                                                               
problems in Alaska's wild populations.                                                                                          
8:15:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH stated  his  concern with  Amendment 4  is                                                               
that it doesn't speak to  preventative measures.  For example, he                                                               
said,  he  would   like  to  see  better   buffers  between  wild                                                               
populations  and  domestic  populations  for  many  of  the  same                                                               
reasons that  he is very  dubious of  fish farming.   He wouldn't                                                               
want to  wait necessarily for  information to be  gathered, tests                                                               
to be  performed, and  data collected before  saying don't  put a                                                               
fish  farm near  his backyard.   He  maintained that  Amendment 4                                                               
narrows the scope of what goes into protection.                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  TARR   offered  her  appreciation   for  Representative                                                               
Parish's concern  but said that that  is not the intention.   The                                                               
intention is to be more descriptive  in terms of what things need                                                               
to be  done.   There is  strong support for  the testing  and the                                                               
data collection,  she continued,  particularly to  understand the                                                               
distribution and  prevalence in  the different populations.   She                                                               
suggested  a  friendly  amendment  could  be  offered  that  says                                                               
something  such as  "perform tests,  collect  data, and  consider                                                               
preventative measures".                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  said he would defer  to Co-Chair Josephson                                                               
or Representative Lincoln.                                                                                                      
8:17:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON said  his  concern with  Amendment  4 is  the                                                               
deletion of  lines 9-11 because of  the loss of the  notions that                                                               
were  mentioned  by  Representative  Parish  about  the  need  to                                                               
protect  the state's  wildlife as  well.   He  could support  the                                                               
amendment, he continued, if it were in addition to lines 9-11.                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  TARR related  that Representative  Lincoln pointed  out                                                               
that  the language  on  page  2, line  17,  talks about  engaging                                                               
actions  to prevent  the spread  of  those diseases.   She  asked                                                               
whether  Co-Chair  Josephson  would  like  to  offer  a  friendly                                                               
amendment that  would delete  the language  "Page 2,  lines 9-11:                                                               
Delete  all material  and insert"  and replace  it with  "Page 2,                                                               
following lines 9-11 insert".                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON deferred to Representative Drummond.                                                                         
8:18:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said everything that  is in lines 9-11 is                                                               
included in Amendment  4 except for the  words "supports enhanced                                                               
efforts".  The scope of  management certainly includes prevention                                                               
efforts,  she  continued.    Except  for the  lack  of  the  word                                                               
"enhanced" efforts this is a  good amendment, she added, and this                                                               
is  just  an adjective  that  says,  "Get  to  work guys".    The                                                               
resolution is  telling the  agencies what they  need to  be doing                                                               
and this amendment enhances that.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  said Representative Drummond's point  is well                                                               
taken and he no longer seeks Co-Chair Tarr's friendly amendment.                                                                
8:20:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH maintained his objection to Amendment 4.                                                                  
8:20:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  stated the resolution is  well intended and                                                               
the amendment seems  fine as well as neutral.   He urged that the                                                               
question be called.                                                                                                             
8:21:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO moved to  adopt a conceptual amendment to                                                               
Amendment 4 as follows:                                                                                                         
     Line 5, following "science-based management decisions                                                                      
          Insert "support enhanced efforts to"                                                                                  
8:21:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  said she  considers  the  conceptual amendment  a                                                               
friendly  amendment  and  has  no  objection.    There  being  no                                                               
objection, the conceptual amendment to Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                 
8:22:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH withdrew his objection to Amendment 4.                                                                    
There being  no further objection,  Amendment 4, as  amended, was                                                               
8:22:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  moved to  report HCR 23,  as amended,  out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHCR  23(RES)  was                                                               
reported out of the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                         

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