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HJR 8: Urging the Alaska Congressional delegation to introduce bills to provide for the exemption of legally acquired walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory from laws that ban the sale, use, and possession of ivory.

00                        HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 8                                                                     
01 Urging the Alaska Congressional delegation to introduce bills to provide for the                                        
02 exemption of legally acquired walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory from laws that                                        
03 ban the sale, use, and possession of ivory.                                                                             
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
05       WHEREAS the Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1361 - 1423h) explicitly                                    
06 protects the right of coastal Alaska Natives to harvest walrus and use the walrus byproducts in                         
07 handicrafts for sale in the United States; and                                                                          
08       WHEREAS the use by Alaska Natives of legally acquired walrus, mammoth, and                                      
09 mastodon ivory to create tools, handicrafts, jewelry, and artwork is a longstanding tradition                           
10 that is a vital component of current Alaska Native culture; and                                                         
11       WHEREAS the sale of walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory tools, handicrafts,                                     
12 jewelry, and artwork by Alaska Natives is an important source of income in the cash-limited                             
13 economy of rural Alaska; and                                                                                            
14       WHEREAS, in the effort to stop the poaching of African elephants, certain states in                             
15 the United States have passed laws banning the sale, use, and possession of all ivory, and                              
01 other states are considering enacting those laws; and                                                                   
02       WHEREAS the laws banning the sale, use, and possession of ivory in certain states of                            
03 the United States do not distinguish between African elephant ivory and the legally acquired                            
04 walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory used by Alaska Native artists; and                                                  
05       WHEREAS the laws banning the sale, use, and possession of ivory may subject                                     
06 residents of certain states to criminal charges for buying, owning, or bringing home legally                            
07 acquired walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory items from Alaska; and                                                     
08       WHEREAS the laws banning the sale, use, and possession of ivory in certain states                               
09 adversely affect those Alaska Native artists who depend on the sale of ivory handicrafts to                             
10 obtain the cash necessary to live in cash-limited local economies;                                                      
11 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes the inclusion of walrus,                                     
12 mammoth, and mastodon ivory in current and future laws that ban the sale, use, and                                      
13 possession of ivory; and be it                                                                                          
14 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests that the Alaska                                           
15 Congressional delegation introduce bills in the United States Congress to provide for the                               
16 exemption of legally acquired walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory from current and future                               
17 laws that ban the sale, use, and possession of ivory.                                                                   
18 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the                                       
19 Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative,                                
20 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.