Bill to Ease Bear Hunting Rules Stalls in Committee
Hunting guides testify measure would hurt businesses
/ Associated Press / Anchorage Daily News / May 12, 2004
-- A controversial bear-hunting bill appeared stuck in committee
as the Legislature wound to a close Tuesday. The measure would
allow more non-Alaska residents to hunt bears without guides,
and make it easier to hunt bears thought to be causing a decline
in moose and caribou.
Committee Co-chair Beverly Masek, R-Willow, said there was
little support in the committee for the bill and not enough
time to move it forward.
Bill 297, written by Sen. Ralph Seekins, R-Fairbanks, has
already passed the Senate.
would allow people issued a state "bear control permit"
to take a nonresident hunting for bears, as long as the permit
holder is 21 and has hunted big game for at least two years.
Current law only allows nonresidents to go along if they are
a close relative or spouse.
big-game guides testified Sunday that the bill could jeopardize
Alaska's entire big-game guide system and open it to legal
would take down sheep hunting, goat hunting and brown bear
hunting," said registered guide William Fitzgerald.
Regelin, deputy of commissioner of the Department of Fish
and Game, told the panel Sunday it would be "very difficult"
to defend the guide laws if the bill passed.
whole issue is a policy call for the Legislature," he
said. "It'll be an increased risk for the guiding industry."