"An Act relating to the Big Game Commercial Services Board and to the regulation of big game hunting services and transportation services; and providing for an effective date. "
"An audit commissioned by the 23rd Alaska Legislature and released in December, 2003, recommends the legislature consider re-establishing the board."
- Rep. Samuels
This bill would re-establish the Big Game Commercial Services Board to oversee an important industry that exists largely on the basis of a healthy wildlife population. The board was allowed to sunset a decade ago, and in the following years, professional hunters, wildlife biologists, public and private land managers and the hunting public themselves have discovered the problems associated with a decentralized, uncoordinated system of licensing and regulating guides and transporters.
An audit commissioned by the 23rd Alaska Legislature and released in December, 2003, recommends the legislature consider re-establishing the board. Auditors concluded after extensive interviews with affected agencies, land owners and hunters that wildlife populations would benefit from more coordinated enforcement of existing laws, and that consumer protection and hunter-client safety could be improved. The Alaska Board of Game has also asked repeatedly that a guide licensing board be re-established.
This bill would create a seven-member board within the Department of Community and Economic Development. Two members would represent active registered guide-outfitters, two members would be licensed transporters, one member would be assigned by the Board of Game, one member would represent private landholders, and one member would represent the public. The bill also increases from $1,000 to $5,000 the maximum civil penalty for disciplinary purposes.