HJR 26: Requesting the National Marine Fisheries Service to relocate the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Steller sea lion research team to Alaska.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 26 01 Requesting the National Marine Fisheries Service to relocate the Alaska Fisheries 02 Science Center Steller sea lion research team to Alaska. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has listed the Steller sea 05 lion as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973; and 06 WHEREAS NMFS released a biological opinion on November 30, 2000, which 07 would significantly restrict the groundfish fisheries in Alaska; and 08 WHEREAS currently there is no clear scientific data on which to base this restriction; 09 and 10 WHEREAS Senator Ted Stevens was successful in securing the funds needed to 11 coordinate a comprehensive research and recovery program for the western Alaska Steller sea 12 lion and to conduct an independent scientific review of the November 30, 2000, biological 13 opinion; and 14 WHEREAS the western United States stock of the Steller sea lion is located in waters 15 adjacent to Alaska; and 16 WHEREAS it is vital to study the recent decline of Steller sea lions in Alaska waters
01 on an ongoing basis throughout the year; and 02 WHEREAS the NMFS research program involved with study of the western Alaska 03 Steller sea lion is based in Seattle at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center; and 04 WHEREAS recent restrictions on the travel of NMFS staff have prevented key 05 personnel based in Seattle from traveling to Alaska to participate in Steller sea lion recovery 06 meetings; and 07 WHEREAS it is important that Alaskans who are directly affected by the status of the 08 endangered western Alaska Steller sea lion have local access to NMFS personnel conducting 09 critical sea lion research to discuss the actions necessary for sea lion recovery; 10 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the 11 National Marine Fisheries Service to relocate all portions of the Alaska Fisheries Science 12 Center associated with research on the western Alaska Steller sea lion from Seattle to a 13 facility that is located in western Alaska. 14 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Don Evans, United States 15 Secretary of Commerce; Dr. William T. Hogarth, Acting Assistant Administrator, National 16 Marine Fisheries Service, United States Department of Commerce; and to the Honorable Ted 17 Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, 18 U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.