Murkowski: Bill Allows Natives to Continue Traditional Harvest
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today made the following comment in support of legislation she’s introduced to allow the Huna Tlingit of Southeast, Alaska, to carry out their traditional subsistence gull egg harvest in Glacier Bay National Park:
“The Huna Tlingit have lived in the region of Glacier Bay, and practiced their traditional subsistence lifestyle there, long before it was made into a national park,” Murkowski said. “They consider gull egg collection an important part of their cultural and spiritual well being and, I believe, it’s an activity that should be protected, especially since it wouldn’t impact the region’s gull population.”
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit, who traditionally harvested gull eggs at rookeries from the cliffs of Glacier Bay prior to, and following, establishment of the park. Collection was prohibited in the 1960s by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and National Park Service regulations.
The bill would allow members of the Hoonah Indian Association to collect the eggs of glaucous-winged gulls up to two times a year at up to five locations within Glacier Bay National Park.
Murkowski made her comments about the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act (S. 1063) at Thursday’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources National Parks Subcommittee hearing. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska.