A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
STATEMENT OF PEGGY O'DELL, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 1063, TO ALLOW FOR THE HARVEST OF GULL EGGS BY THE HUNA TLINGIT PEOPLE WITHIN GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK IN THE STATE OF ALASKA.
July 28, 2011
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 1063, the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act of 2011.
This legislation provides for the restoration of an important cultural connection to Glacier Bay by the Huna Tlingit, and provides for the environmentally preferred action identified in our studies. As such, the Department supports enactment of S. 1063 with an amendment.
Glacier Bay National Park is the traditional homeland of the Huna Tlingit who harvested eggs at gull rookeries in Glacier Bay prior to, and after the park was established in 1925. Egg collection was curtailed in the 1960s as Migratory Bird Treaty Act and National Park Service (NPS) regulations prohibited the activity.
The Glacier Bay National Park Resource Management Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-455) directed the NPS to study whether gull egg collection could resume without impairing the biological sustainability of the gull population in the park. The NPS conducted the study, wrote an environmental impact statement, and issued a record of decision, which found that collection under certain conditions would be sustainable. Those conditions, addressing the frequency of harvest and an annual harvest plan, are reflected in S. 1063.
Section 2 (b) of the bill contains a condition for the Secretary of the Interior to develop an annual harvest plan jointly with the Hoonah Indian Association. To clarify that the Hoonah Indian Association's role is purely advisory, we recommend the attached amendment.
The Department appreciates the opportunity to testify on this matter. I will be glad to answer any questions.
AMENDMENT TO S. 1063
On p. 2, line 9, strike “jointly by the Secretary and the Hoonah Indian Association.” and insert “by the Secretary in consultation with the Hoonah Indian Association.”.