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Calendar No. 105
113th Congress Report
1st Session 113-51
HUNA TLINGIT TRADITIONAL GULL EGG USE
June 27, 2013.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Wyden, from the Committee on Energy and Natual Resources, submitted
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 156]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 156) to allow for the harvest of gull
eggsy by the Huna Tlingit people within Glacier Bay National
Park in the State of Alaska, having considered the same,
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that
the bill, as amended, do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Beginning on page 1, strike line 6 and all that follows 2 through
page 2, line 9, and insert the following:
SEC. 2. LIMITED AUTHORIZATION FOR COLLECTION OF GULL EGGS.
(a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior (referred to in this
Act as the ``Secretary'') may allow the collection by members of the
Hoonah Indian Association of the eggs of glaucous-winged gulls (Laurus
glaucescens) within Glacier Bay National Park (referred to in this Act
as the ``Park'') not more frequently than twice each calendar year at
up to 5 locations within the Park, subject to any terms and conditions
that the Secretary determines to be necessary.
(b) Applicable Law.--For the purposes of sections 4 203 and 816 of
the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 410hh-2,
3126), the collection of eggs of glaucous-winged gulls within the Park
in accordance with subsection (a) shall be considered to be a use
specifically permitted by that Act.
(c) Harvest Plan.--The Secretary shall establish schedules,
locations, and any additional terms and conditions that the Secretary
determines to be necessary for 1 the harvesting of eggs of glaucous-
winged gulls in the U Park, based on an annual harvest plan to be
prepared by the Secretary and the Hoonah Indian Association.
The purpose of S. 156 is to allow for the limited harvest
of gull eggs within Glacier Bay National Park by the members of
Hoonah Indian Association.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
Glacier Bay National Monument was designated as Glacier Bay
National Park and Preserve in 1980 by the Alaska National
Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). Glacier Bay National
Park encompasses approximately 3.2 million acres. Glacier Bay
National Preserve encompasses an additional 58,000 acres.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is the traditional
homeland of the Huna Tlingit, who traditionally harvested eggs
at gull rookeries in Glacier Bay prior to, and following, park
establishment. Egg collection was curtailed in the 1960s as
both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and National Park Service
regulations prohibited the activity.
Although the passage of ANILCA allowed for sport hunting,
commercial fishing, and subsistence activities to be permitted
in the preserve, it was not until passage of the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act Protocol Amendment in 1995 that customary and
traditional use of migratory birds and their eggs for
subsistence use by indigenous inhabitants of Alaska was
allowable by law. Even with passage of the 1995 treaty
amendment, National Park Service regulations still prohibited
the gathering of gull eggs at Glacier Bay National Park and
In 2000, Public Law 106-455 provided for the Secretary of
the Interior, in consultation with local residents, to
undertake a study of sea gulls living within the park to assess
whether sea gull eggs could be collected on a limited basis
without impairing the biological sustainability of the sea gull
population in the park. The study, Harvest of Glaucous-Winged
Gull Eggs by Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park, was
completed in May 2010. The preferred alternative in the study
would authorize the harvest of gull eggs at up to five
locations within the park on two separate dates each year.
S. 156 was introduced by Senators Murkowski and Begich on
January 28, 2013. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a
hearing on S. 156 on April 23, 2013. At its business meeting on
May 16, 2013, the Committee ordered S. 156 favorably reported
with an amendment.
In the 112th Congress, Senators Murkowski and Begich
introduced similar legislation, S. 1063, on May 25, 2011. The
Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S. 1063 on
July 28, 2011 (S. Hrg. 112-214).
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in
open business session on May 16, 2013, by a voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 156, if
amended as described herein.
During its consideration of S. 156, the Committee adopted
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amendment
addressed a potential issue that would have allowed for the
collection of eggs notwithstanding any other provision of law
and instead authorizes subsistence collecting in accordance
within sections 203 and 816 of Alaska National Interest Lands
Conservation Act (ANILCA), which govern subsistence the
collection in the park. The amendment is described in detail in
the section-by-section analysis below.
Section 1 provides the short title, the ``Huna Tlingit
Traditional Gull Egg Use Act.''
Section 2(a) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior
(Secretary) to allow for the collection of gull eggs within
Glacier Bay National Park by members of the Hoonah Indian
Association not more frequently than twice each calendar year
at up to five locations with the park, subject to any terms and
conditions the Secretary determines to be necessary.
Subsection (b) defines the collection of gull eggs within
Glacier Bay National Park as a use that is specifically
permitted under sections 203 and 816 of the Alaska National
Interest Lands Conservation Act.
Subsection (c) requires that the Secretary base schedules,
locations, and any additional terms and conditions for the
collection of gull eggs in Glacier Bay National Park on a
harvest plan prepared by the Secretary and the Hoonah Indian
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
S. 156--Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act
S. 156 would authorize the Hoonah Indian Association to
harvest glaucous-winged gull eggs from Glacier Bay National
Park in Alaska. Under the legislation, the Association would be
permitted to harvest eggs not more than twice a year from up to
five locations within the park. The bill would also direct the
Department of the Interior to develop an annual harvest plan
with the Association.
Based on information provided by the National Park Service,
CBO estimates that implementing S. 156 would have no
significant impact on the federal budget. Enacting S. 156 would
not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures do not apply.
S. 156 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out S. 156.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 156, as ordered reported.
CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING
S. 156, as reported, does not contain any congressionally
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules
of the Senate.
The testimony provided by the National Park Service at the
April 23, 2013, Subcommittee on National Parks hearing on S.
Statement of Peggy O'Dell, Deputy Director for Operations, National
Park Service, Department of the Interior
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear
before you today to present the views of the Department of the
Interior on S. 156, the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use
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. 156 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 in August 2010 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. 156.
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. 156
On p. 2, line 8, strike ``jointly by the Secretary and the
Hoonah Indian Association.'' and insert ``by the Secretary in
consultation with the Hoonah Indian Association.''.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by S. 156, as ordered