Legislature(2003 - 2004)
04/16/2004 03:36 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 297-BEAR HUNTING/DISPOSAL OF HIDE/SKULL CHAIR SCOTT OGAN announced SB 297 to be up for consideration. SENATOR THOMAS WAGONER moved to adopt CSSB 297(RES), version \X. CHAIR OGAN objected for discussion purposes. He explained that on page 2 there's a lot of concern. There has been testimony from the Department of Law that allowing non-resident hunters to hunt without a guide may compromise the safety requirements for requiring a guide for dangerous game like bears. This is not a hunt; this is a bear predation management program. So, it is not a hunt. CHAIR OGAN said that language on page 2, line 19, added "and has taken big game in the state during at least one calendar year and who has obtained a hunter safety certificate issued under (f) of this section" to require the person has legally hunted big game already in at least two calendar years. He thought this went a long way to address safety concerns. SENATOR WAGONER asked how a person would prove that they have legally hunted big game in the state during at least two calendar years. CHAIR OGAN replied that they would have to sign an affidavit saying that they have done it. It is a misdemeanor if they lie about it. "There's a certain amount of trust factor in it...." He said the next change is on page 3, section (f), that provides the hunter safety course. He asked Mr. Robus if the department would have the authority to require a safety course. MR. MATT ROBUS, Director, Division of Wildlife Conservation, answered that he has the authority to provide reasonable training for people who are going to go out and deal with wild animals, especially big game. CHAIR OGAN said the next change is on page 3, line 29, which increases the fee to $250 when the department seals the bear. "So, there's no money up front, but if you get one, you're going to pay a couple bucks. That should more than offset the cost of doing the training." He indicated that Mr. Robus nodded when he said the fiscal note is zero. SENATOR SEEKINS continued explaining the CS saying that all references to this program are changed to "bear predation management permit". Military people who want to accompany have the same requirement to be consistent with the rest of the bill. SENATOR SEEKINS moved conceptual Amendment 1. CHAIR OGAN objected to discuss where it would be inserted. SENATOR WAGONER noted that they hadn't adopted the CS, yet. SENATOR SEEKINS recognized that and withdrew his motion. CHAIR OGAN maintained his objection to the CS and then noted there were no further objections and CSSB 297(RES), version X, was adopted. SENATOR SEEKINS moved conceptual Amendment 1. He explained that it instructs the Board of Game to implement the methods and means necessary to effectively carry out the purposes of bear predator management. MR. ROBUS acknowledged the work that went into this bill in two days and he thought the CS took care of the issues he brought forward before. He didn't have a problem with language stating the department and the board shall apply the appropriate methods in areas where bear populations are deemed to have to be decreased. This does now form something that is analogous to the wolf control statute and regulations and the findings that come under those regulations. Now I see the board being able to rather smoothly incorporate anything that has to be taken care of in the multi-predator system can be dealt with through one predator management plan. CHAIR OGAN removed his objection to Amendment 1. He left it up to the drafter to put the language in the appropriate place. SENATOR SEEKINS asked Mr. Robus if he thought "the board shall authorize and department shall implement" would be more in line with what the line of authority should be. MR. ROBUS replied that is a good point. In the wolf predation control programs we're doing now, we are implementing in the sense that we are managing the permits. Certainly, implementing the permit part of the program is a departmental function and perhaps kind of the combination language you just said is better. SENATOR SEEKINS moved to amend Amendment 1 to read: The board shall authorize and the department shall implement whatever methods and means deemed necessary. There were no objections and Amendment 1 was amended for the first time. SENATOR SEEKINS said that this legislature now sits and observes what the Board of Game does and still has the right, if the methods and means are not authorized and implemented, to effectively reduce the bear populations in identified areas to give it legislative direction. CHAIR OGAN noted that there were no further comments. SENATOR SEEKINS moved to pass CSSB 297(RES), from committee with attached zero fiscal note. There were no objections and it was so ordered. There being no further business to come before the committee, he adjourned the meeting at 4:50 p.m.