Legislative Bill to Replace Board of Game with a Board of Wildlife

Senate Bill 343



Paul Joslin / Wildlife Director / Alaska Wildlife Alliance / February 16, 2004



Senate Minority Leader Johnny Ellis today introduced legislation, Senate Bill 343, that seeks to replace the Board of Game with a Board of Wildlife.

The Constitution of Alaska states that wildlife is intended for the "common use" of all Alaskans. Legitimate beneficial uses include sport and subsistence hunting, trapping, and non-consumptive uses, such as wildlife viewing, photography, tourism and scientific research. Senate Bill 343 responds to the state's long history of not appointing or confirming non-consumptive users to the Board of Game although they represent more than 75 percent of the potentially eligible public. Even hunters with a strong interest in non-consumptive wildlife values have been summarily rejected.

Under Alaska law, the only access that non-consumptive users have to the wildlife regulation-making process is to plead for recognition before a board whose members consider non-consumptive values as "a significant toe-hold for an attack on consumptive uses in Alaska," as one board member described it. This bigoted point-of-view places undue emphasis on the consumptive use of moose, caribou and other ungulates and does not reflect the broad range of wildlife values held by most Alaskans. Many of the Board of Game's decisions appear extremist and out-of-touch with the general public. The Board of Game voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that would have banned the people of Alaska from being able to make decisions using the wildlife initiative process, while the electorate voted strongly for this retention. The Game Board also championed same-day airborne hunting of wolves even though the public had twice said they disapproved.

There are major economic and social benefits to be gained by including both non-consumptive wildlife users and consumptive users at the wildlife decision making table. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife viewing interests generate annually about a half billion dollars in Alaska, creating many thousands of jobs in the process. Consumptive users contribute about half that amount.

Senator Ellis' Board of Wildlife bill will create a level playing field, whereby the diversity of wildlife values held by most Alaskans would be reflected within the Board's composition. According to a state-wide survey undertaken by Dittman Research Corporation, 83 percent of voters favor a Board of Wildlife composed of hunters and non-consumptive users over an all hunter-trapper board. Seventy percent of hunters opted for a Board of Wildlife. The rural population and every major region in Alaska overwhelming supported a Board of Wildlife.

By passing Senate Bill 343 the State Legislature would go a long way towards improving the ability of hunters and non-consumptive users to work together in resolving complex wildlife issues for the benefit of all Alaskans.

Contact: Paul Joslin, Wildlife Director
ALASKA WILDLIFE ALLIANCE
(907) 277 9816, cell phone (907) 250 5944
Paul@akwildlife.org

Senate Bill 343 Text

"BILL ID: SB 343"

00 SENATE BILL NO. 343

01 "An Act changing the name of the Board of Game to the Board of Wildlife and relating
02 to the purposes and membership of the Board of Wildlife; and providing for an effective
03 date."
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:
05 * Section 1. AS 16.05.221(b) is amended to read:
06 (b) For purposes of the multiple use, conservation, and development of all
07 [THE] game resources of the state, there is created a Board of Wildlife [GAME]
08 composed of nine [SEVEN] members appointed by the governor, subject to
09 confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session. The
10 membership of the board, taken as a whole, shall directly reflect all of the
11 citizens' various uses of game for sport and subsistence hunting, trapping,
12 nonconsumptive uses, tourism, and scientific study in a comprehensive and fair
13 manner. The governor shall appoint each member on the basis of [INTEREST IN
14 PUBLIC AFFAIRS,] good judgment, interest in game, and predominant
01 involvement with an aspect of game resources, to ensure that each of the specified
02 diverse interests is represented [KNOWLEDGE, AND ABILITY IN THE FIELD
03 OF ACTION OF THE BOARD, AND WITH A VIEW TO PROVIDING
04 DIVERSITY OF INTEREST AND POINTS OF VIEW] in the membership. The
05 appointed members shall be residents of the state and shall be appointed without
06 regard to political affiliation or geographical location of residence. The commissioner
07 is not a member of the Board of Wildlife [GAME], but shall be ex officio secretary.
08 * Sec. 2. AS 16.05.221(c) is amended to read:
09 (c) Members of the Board of Wildlife [GAME] serve staggered terms of three
10 years and, except as provided in AS 39.05.080(4), each member serves until a
11 successor is appointed. An appointment to fill a vacancy in the membership of the
12 Board of Wildlife [GAME] shall be made in the same manner as the original
13 appointment and, except as provided in AS 39.05.080(4), an appointment to fill a
14 vacancy is for the balance of the unexpired term.
15 * Sec. 3. AS 16.05.320 is amended to read:
16 Sec. 16.05.320. Quorum. A majority of the members of a board constitutes a
17 quorum for the transaction of business, for the performance of any duty, and for the
18 exercise of any power. However, a majority of the full board membership is required
19 to carry all motions, regulations, and resolutions. A majority of the members of the
20 boards of fisheries and wildlife [GAME] constitute a quorum for the transaction of
21 business in a joint board meeting. A majority of the membership of the boards is
22 required to carry all joint motions, regulations, and resolutions of the boards.
23 * Sec. 4. AS 16.05.940(11) is amended to read:
24 (11) "domicile" means the true and permanent home of a person from
25 which the person has no present intention of moving and to which the person intends
26 to return whenever the person is away; domicile may be proved by presenting
27 evidence acceptable to the boards of fisheries and wildlife [GAME];
28 * Sec. 5. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
29 read:
30 REGULATIONS. The Department of Fish and Game and the Board of Game may
31 proceed to adopt regulations to implement this Act. The regulations take effect under
01 AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) but not before the effective date of the
02 corresponding enabling statute.
03 * Sec. 6. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
04 read:
05 INSTRUCTION REGARDING BOARD OF GAME. Wherever in the Alaska
06 Statutes and the Alaska Administrative Code the term "Board of Game" is used it shall be
07 read as "Board of Wildlife" when to do so would be consistent with the changes made by this
08 Act.
09 * Sec. 7. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
10 read:
11 SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS TO REVISOR OF STATUTES CONCERNING
12 SPECIFIC REFERENCES. (a) The revisor of statutes shall change references to "Board of
13 Game" to read "Board of Wildlife" in the following statutes:
14 (1) AS 08.54.790(6);
15 (2) AS 16.05.050(b), 16.05.094, 16.05.255, 16.05.256, 16.05.258(a),
16 16.05.260, 16.05.305, 16.05.315, 16.05.330(c), 16.05.340, 16.05.346(a), 16.05.405,
17 16.05.408(a), 16.05.783, 16.05.930(d), 16.05.940;
18 (3) AS 16.20.033(f), 16.20.041(c), 16.20.080, 16.20.510, 16.20.610(c);
19 (4) AS 39.50.200(b)(41);
20 (5) AS 39.52.120(c);
21 (6) AS 41.21.022, 41.21.174(b), 41.21.176(c), 41.21.183(b), 41.21.187,
22 41.21.188(c), 41.21.302(d), 41.21.492(b), 41.21.504(b), 41.21.616;
23 (7) AS 41.23.030(c), 41.23.110, 41.23.120(c), 41.23.160(c), 41.23.420(d);
24 (8) AS 41.99.010;
25 (9) AS 44.39.030, 44.39.050;
26 (10) AS 44.62.330(a)(41).
27 (b) The revisor of statutes shall change the reference to "game" to read "wildlife" in
28 the catch line of AS 16.05.221.
29 (c) The revisor of statutes shall change the reference to "Board of Game" to read
30 "Board of Wildlife" in the catch line of AS 16.05.255.
31 (d) The revisor of statutes shall change the reference to "game board" to read "Board
01 of Wildlife" in AS 16.05.780(b).
02 * Sec. 8. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
03 read:
04 IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTIONS 6 and 7 OF THIS ACT. Under AS 01.05.031,
05 the revisor of statutes shall implement secs. 6 and 7 of this Act in the Alaska Statutes, and,
06 under AS 44.62.125(b)(6), the regulations attorney shall implement sec. 6 of this Act in the
07 administrative code.
08 * Sec. 9. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
09 read:
10 APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF WILDLIFE. (a) The
11 governor shall appoint two additional members to the Board of Wildlife to fill the two
12 positions added to the board by sec. 1 of this Act. Subject to AS 39.05.080, the governor
13 shall appoint one member to an initial term that expires March 1, 2007, and one member to an
14 initial term that expires March 1, 2006.
15 (b) Each member of the Board of Game who is serving on the effective date of sec. 1
16 of this Act shall continue to serve on the Board of Wildlife for the term to which the member
17 was appointed, if the member has been confirmed by the legislature or is subject to
18 confirmation by the legislature in accordance with AS 39.05.080.
19 * Sec. 10. Section 5 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).
20 * Sec. 11. Except as pro


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