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UFA Legislative Update: March 31, 2019

    Dear UFA Members and Friends,

    In this issue:

    • Personal Use Priority Bill Introduced
    • Last Call for At-Large UFA Board Seats
    • Worldwide Notice to all Mariners who use GPS Equipment
    • **Legislative Happenings from this Week**
    • **Legislative Meetings of Interest for Next Week**
    • How to Testify, Watch, or Listen to a Hearing
    • Bills Related for Fisheries, and other Bills of Interest to Fishermen

    Personal Use Priority Bill Introduced
    On Monday, Senator Kawasaki introduced SB 99– Personal Use Fishing Priority.  This bill has been introduced at the legislature in years past and UFA has strong opposition to any proposal or bill that would make personal use fishing a priority over subsistence, commercial or sport fishing.  We encourage UFA member groups and individuals to please write a letter of opposition to this bill.  Letters of opposition may be sent to SenateResources@akleg.gov.  Here is an example of theletter UFA Provided.

    Last Call for At-Large UFA Board Seats
    Reminder to current Individual and Lifetime UFA members: Friday April 5 is the postmark deadline for return of ballots for the UFA at-Large board member election! 

    Worldwide Notice to All Mariners Who Use GPS Equipment
    The U.S. Coast Guard is issuing a Worldwide Notice to all mariners who use GPS equipment that on April 6-7, 2019, a parameter in the GPS system will “roll over” to zero, which may affect older GPS equipment, or equipment that has not received firmware or software updates recently. Read the Notice.For Alaska specific information, click here.  Civil GPS users are encouraged to report disruptions or anomalies to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center, or via phone at 703.313.5900, 24 hours a day.

    -Frances Leach, Executive Director

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    Legislative Happenings from this Week on fishery related bills we are tracking. (March 25 – March 29)

    House Fisheries Committee
    House Fisheries did not meet this week.

    House Resources

    • March 25, confirmation hearings were held for Designee Commissioner Jason Brune of Department of Environmental Conservation.  Watch the Meeting Here
    • March 25, the committee heard a presentation by the Pebble Project status and update on permitting and EIS.  Watch the Meeting Here
    • March 27, the committee heard HB 35– Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game.  Public testimony was provided by UFA.   Watch the Meeting Here
    • March 29, the committee again heard HB 35– Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game.  The bill was moved out of committee and is pending transfer to committee. Meeting

    Senate Resources

    • March 25, the committee heard a presentation by the Pebble Partnership on project update, draft EIS, and steps moving forward.  Watch the Meeting Here
    • March 27, the committee heard SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation.  Bill was not moved from committee and has meeting scheduled for April 3.  Watch the Meeting Here.
    • March 29, the committee heard SB 90  – Cook Inlet: New Admin Area; Permit Buyback.  Public Testimony was taken.  The bill is still in Senate Resources.

    Senate Finance

    • March 27, Senate Finance held a hearing on SB 61 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  Public Testimony was provided by UFA.  The bill is currently in Senate Finance and tentatively scheduled to be heard early next week.

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    Legislative Meetings of interest for this weekend and the week of April 1 – April 5, 2019.

    MONDAY, April 1

    Senate Finance– Senate Finance 532
    9:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    House Resources Committee– Barnes 124
    1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Presentation: Pebble Project Status & Update on Permitting & Environmental Impact Statement by Norman Van Vactor (CEO, Bristol Bay Regional Development Corp.), Daniel Schindler (Professor, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, University of Washington), Camron Wobus (Senior Scientist, Lynker Technologies), Rick Halford (Former AK Senator & Consultant), Bristol Bay Coalition. Testimony (Invitation Only). Meeting Link

    6:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Designee Jason Brune, Department of Conservation.  Testimony (Invitation Only). Meeting Link

    Senate Resources Committee– Butrovich 205
    3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Department of Fish and Game: Management, Allocation, & the Boards of Fisheries and Game.  Meeting Link

    House Resources Committee– Barnes 124
    6:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Designee Jason Brune, Department of Environmental Conservation.  *Public Testimony*(Please sign up by 7:15 p.m. to be added to the queue).  Meeting Link

    TUESDAY, April 2

    House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
    10:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • HB 105Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  *Public Testimony* Meeting Link

    WEDNESDAY, April 3

    Senate Resources Committee– Butrovich 205
    3:30 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation.

    Thursday, April 4

    House Fisheries Committee– Gruenberg 120
    10:00 AM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • HB 105Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  
    • HB 65– Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share Meeting Link

    FRIDAY, April 5

    House Resources Committee– Barnes 124
    1:00 PM ~ **Teleconferenced**

    • Presentation: Process for the Evaluation of the Department of Army Application Submitted by the Pebble Limited Partnership by David S. Hobbie (Regional Regulatory Division Chief, US Army Corps of Engineers.  Testimony (Invitation Only). Meeting Link

    Please feel free to track bills in The Bill Tracking Management Facility (BTMF).

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    To testify, watch or listen in to a hearing …
    To testifyit’s best to go to a Legislative Information office – see them online at http://akleg.gov/lios.php. If you can’t get to an LIO you can call in to listen in or testify through the following numbers – call & ask for the specific committee hearing:

    • From Anchorage based phones call 907-563-9085;
    • From Juneau based phones or outside Alaska call 907-586-9085;
    • From other areas of Alaska, call toll-free 844-586-9085…and ask for the specific hearing.

    To watch hearings onlinego to legislative home page at http://w3.akleg.gov/  at the time of the hearing, and click on the “Live Now” tab, and then select the meeting.

    To watch floor sessionsand other hearings see Gavel to Gavel archives.

    To find your legislators and contact infosee http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/  – see “WHO REPRESENTS ME?” in the lower right corner of the page.

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    Bills related to fisheries that we are tracking, and others that may be of interest to fishermen.

    SB 22  – Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Stevens- Senate Finance- UFA Supports) Referred to Senate Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    SB 51  – Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation (Senate Resources) Currently in Senate Resources with a hearing scheduled for April 3.
    SB 61 – Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims (Stevens – UFA Supports) Currently in Senate Finance with hearing scheduled for April 1.
    SB 63  – Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (Senate Rules by Request of the Governor- UFA Opposes) Currently in Senate Community and Regional Affairs with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    SB 90  – Cook Inlet: New Admin Area; Permit Buyback (Micciche) Currently in Senate Resources with a hearing scheduled for March 29.
    SB 99*NEW* – Personal Use Fishing Priority (Kawasaki- UFA Opposes). Referred to Senate Resources with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    HB 35– Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game (Stutes – UFA Supports) Moved out of committee and awaiting referral. 
    HB 41– Shellfish Enhance. Projects; Hatcheries (Ortiz – UFA Supports) Currently in House Finance with no scheduled hearings at this time.
    HB 65– Fish Tax: Repeal Muni Refunds/Rev. Share (House Rules by Request of the Governor – UFA Opposes) Currently in House Fisheries with hearing scheduled for April 4.
    HB 105– Commercial Fishermen’s Fund: Vessel Owner Claims.  (Ortiz- UFA Supports) Currently in House Fisheries with hearings scheduled for April 2 & 4.

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    Please support our business members – see links on our website
    To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

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    This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
    To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

    Vote while you fish – Register or change your registration before July 22 for the August 21 Primary.

    Voter Registration Information Deadline July 22 to register or change your registration, to be eligible to vote in the August 21 primary. Candidates for Alaska Governor, Lt. Gov, U.S. House, 40 State House and 10 State Senate seats will compete in the primary election to become their party’s nominee in the November 6th general election. Registered voters have two ballot choices. To vote the Republican Primary ballot you must be registered Republican, Nonpartisan or Undeclared. Any registered voter may vote the combined Democratic, Libertarian, and Alaska Independence party ballot. Sample ballots have been posted - see http://www.elections.alaska.gov/Core/Archive/SampleBallot_2018_Primary.php Find out if you’re registered to vote and lookup your polling place location here:  https://myvoterinformation.alaska.gov/  (you must use your full middle name if it is included in your registration or it will not match.) Thousands of Alaskans are...
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    Press Release: UFA’s Salmon Habitat Program publishes Bristol Bay Fish Stats for Pebble EIS Scoping

    JUNEAU – UFA’s Salmon Habitat Information Program (SHIP) has posted fishing and seafood industry statistics for the communities, boroughs and census areas of the Bristol Bay region to highlight the huge impact of the region’s fisheries. The UFA-SHIP program is seeking to help raise awareness about the salmon and other fisheries of the area as the topic is front and center in the current scoping process for the Pebble Mine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

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