Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/25/2003 09:06 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     SENATE BILL NO. 147                                                                                                        
     "An Act relating to control of nuisance wild animals; and                                                                  
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
This was  the second  hearing for  this bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Co-chair  Wilken stated that  this bill  addresses nuisance  animals                                                            
and is sponsored by Co-chair Green.                                                                                             
MATT  ROBUS, Acting  Director,  Division of  Wildlife Conservation,                                                             
Department of  Fish and Game provided answers to questions  asked in                                                            
the first hearing on this  bill by communicating that the Department                                                            
currently  has regulations  to  address situations  involving  large                                                            
animals such  as moose or bear through  the Department's  ability to                                                            
issue public safety  permits, Defense of Life and  Property permits,                                                            
and scientific  permits. In addition,  he stated that permits  could                                                            
be  issued  to  "a  responsible  individual"   were  an enforcement                                                             
official unavailable.                                                                                                           
Mr.  Robus  stressed;  however,  "that  the one  thing  not  covered                                                            
currently"  through regulations  are small  animals and birds  whose                                                            
actions  are creating  nuisance problems  including  such things  as                                                            
birds eating  grain crops or an ermine  harming someone's  house. He                                                            
continued  that this legislation  would provide  the Department  the                                                            
authority to address these types of issues.                                                                                     
Senator  Hoffman asked  whether there  is a need  for provisions  to                                                            
address  the  disposal  of these  small  animals;  particularly  the                                                            
salvage of the meat or the disposal of the remains.                                                                             
Mr.  Robus informed  that  provisions are  usually  included in  the                                                            
permit for meat salvaging  of large animals, and where small animals                                                            
or birds are concerned,  the Department attempts to  be flexible and                                                            
to appropriately  take care  of, for example,  a fur-bearing  animal                                                            
whose hide could be salvaged.  Furthermore, he mentioned that in the                                                            
case of a food  animal, provisions  are included to allow  the taker                                                            
to  either  use   it  for  individual  use  or  provide   it  to  an                                                            
organization that  provides food to other people.  However, he noted                                                            
that when a situation  arises in which salvaging of  the meat or fur                                                            
is not  an option  or conditions  would not allow  for salvage,  the                                                            
flexibility  to  handle  situations   on  a case-by-case   basis  is                                                            
requested in this legislation.                                                                                                  
Senator Hoffman voiced  that most people would willingly salvage the                                                            
meat, and he questioned  whether a provision requiring salvage would                                                            
be necessary.                                                                                                                   
Senator Olson  asked how this legislation would address  a situation                                                            
wherein  an animal  or bird  is not a  nuisance but  rather poses  a                                                            
threat to, for instance,  a private pilot or to national security by                                                            
it presence on a private or military airport runway.                                                                            
Mr. Robus  replied that  this issue  is addressed  currently  by the                                                            
Department's  ability to  issue public safety  permits. However,  he                                                            
noted that this  existing authority includes threats  posed by small                                                            
Amendment #1:  This amendment inserts "and subject  to AS 16.30.010"                                                            
after the word "Act" on page 3, line 20.                                                                                        
Senator Olson moved for adoption of Amendment #1.                                                                               
Co-Chair Wilken objected for explanation.                                                                                       
Senator Olson  shared that muskox in the Nome area  present a danger                                                            
to airports during  the animals' rutting season. He  noted that this                                                            
amendment  addresses the  issue of  wanton waste,  and he  exclaimed                                                            
that, "if you shoot it, and kill it, you better eat it."                                                                        
Senator Olson withdrew the amendment.                                                                                           
Senator  Taylor  moved  to  report  the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
There being  no objection, SB 147  was REPORTED from Committee  with                                                            
previous fiscal note #1 from the Department of Fish and Game.                                                                   
AT EASE 9:29 AM / 9:29 AM                                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Wilken  introduced  visiting  Juneau  Boy Scout  Troop  11                                                            
consisting  of SHAUN NESHEIM,  KYLE KAHKLEN,  CARLETON SHOREY,  ALEX                                                            
BOTELHO,  TREVOR  LARSEN,  and BRUCE  BOTELHO,  Boy Scout  Troop  11                                                            
Mr. Botelho announced  that the scouts are working  on the Boy Scout                                                            
Citizenship Award.                                                                                                              

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