Legislature(1997 - 1998)
03/13/1997 08:25 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE March 13, 1997 8:25 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Ethan Berkowitz Representative Fred Dyson Representative Kim Elton Representative Mark Hodgins Representative Ivan Ivan Representative Al Vezey MEMBERS ABSENT All members present. COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14 Relating to supporting the "American Land Sovereignty Protection Act." - PASSED CSHJR 14(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14 Relating to support for federal legislation permitting state concealed handgun permittees to carry concealed handguns in other states. - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HOUSE BILL NO. 83 "An Act relating to commercial motor vehicle inspections; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 25 Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska to guarantee the permanent fund dividend, to provide for inflation-proofing, and to require a vote of the people before spending undistributed income from the earnings reserve of the permanent fund; and relating to the permanent fund. - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD *HOUSE BILL NO. 84 "An Act limiting the authority to conduct pull-tab charitable gaming to qualified organizations that are exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) or (19); and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD *HOUSE BILL NO. 78 "An Act relating to the definition of certain state receipts; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD *HOUSE BILL NO. 153 "An Act relating to the eligibility of aliens for state public assistance and medical assistance programs affected by federal welfare reform legislation; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD *HOUSE BILL NO. 155 "An Act relating to hearings before and authorizing fees for the State Commission for Human Rights; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 14 SHORT TITLE: SUPPORT AMERICAN LAND SOVEREIGNTY ACT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES, Barnes, Hodgins, Sanders, Masek, Martin, Kemplen, Phillips, Cowdery, Vezey, Ryan, Porter, Ogan JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/21/97 111 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/21/97 111 (H) WTR, STATE AFFAIRS 01/22/97 125 (H) COSPONSOR(S): PORTER, OGAN 02/13/97 (H) WTR AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/13/97 (H) MINUTE(WTR) 02/17/97 (H) WTR AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/17/97 (H) MINUTE(WTR) 02/18/97 (H) WTR AT 5:00 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 02/18/97 (H) MINUTE(WTR) 02/19/97 397 (H) WTR RPT 5DP 1NR 02/19/97 397 (H) DP: PHILLIPS, COWDERY, KOTT, BARNES 02/19/97 397 (H) AUSTERMAN 02/19/97 397 (H) NR: KUBINA 02/19/97 398 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (H. WTR) 02/19/97 398 (H) REFERRED TO STATE AFFAIRS 03/13/97 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 WITNESS REGISTER MYRNA McGHIE, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jeannette James State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HJR 14. PAUL C. JONES, Executive Director Minerals Exploration Coalition (MEC) 1019 8th Street, Suite 305 Golden, Colorado 80801 Telephone: Not provided POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. PATRICK DALTON P.O. Box 1413 Delta Junction, Alaska 99737 Telephone: Not provided POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. GREG HALL P.O. Box 813 Delta Junction, Alaska 99737 Telephone: (907) 895-5050 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. JON JARVIS, Superintendent Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve P.O. Box 439 Copper Center, Alaska 99573 Telephone: (907) 822-5234 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HJR 14. FRANK DILLON, Executive Director Alaska Trucking Association 3443 Minnesota Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: (907) 276-1145 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. STEVE BORELL, Executive Director Alaska Miners Association, Inc. 501 West Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 203 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: (907) 276-0347 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. LEONARD EFTA P.O. Box 353 Kenai, Alaska 99611 Telephone: (907) 283-7670 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HJR 14. ERIC WEATHERS P.O. Box 1791 Cordova, Alaska 99574 Telephone: (907) 424-3745 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HJR 14. DENNY WEATHERS P.O. Box 1791 Cordova, Alaska 99574 Telephone: (907) 424-3745 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HJR 14. IRENE ANDERSON P.O. Box 1974 Nome, Alaska 99762 Telephone: (907) 443-4023 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. JOHN BREIVOGEL HC 60 Box 106 Copper Center, Alaska 99573 Telephone: (907) 822-5870 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. MATT KRINKE P.O.Box 545 Glennallen, Alaska 99588 Telephone: (907) 822-3390 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HJR 14. PAUL WEIR P.O. Box 275 Glennallen, Alaska 99588 Telephone: (907) 822-3902 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HJR 14. STANLEY LEPHART, Executive Director Citizens Advisory Commission on Federal Areas Office of the Commissioner Department of Natural Resources 3700 Airport Way Fairbanks, Alaska 99709-4699 Telephone: (907) 451-2775 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 14. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-26, SIDE A Number 0001 The House State Affairs Standing Committee was called to order by Chair Jeannette James at 8:25 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives James, Berkowitz, Hodgins, Ivan and Vezey. Members absent were Dyson and Elton. HJR 14 - SUPPORT AMERICAN LAND SOVEREIGNTY ACT The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Standing Committee was HJR 14, Relating to supporting the "American Land Sovereignty Protection Act." CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES called on Myrna McGhie, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jeannette James, to present the resolution. Number 0068 MYRNA McGHIE, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jeannette James, explained in 1971 the United States joined the United Nation's program calling to establish biosphere reserves and world heritage sites around the world. In these areas human activity was restricted. For management purposes, these reserves were divided into three zones: The core zone, the buffer zone and the transitional zone. Activities in the zones were off-limits to human influence, except for monitoring and research activity. The activity in the buffer zone was organized so that it did not hinder conservation objectives. The transitional zones were areas of cooperation with agriculture, human settlements and other uses. The zones extended far beyond the boundaries of the core; they could even be twice as large. Today, 47 national parks were designated as these sanctuaries covering 51 million acres in the United States, of which, 40.7 million acres were here in Alaska. Most disturbingly, these designations had taken place without congressional oversight and without any public process. There was legitimate concern, therefore, regarding international interference during decision making processes on domestic land. In addition, too often Alaskans found themselves under federal oversight without recourse and now Alaskans could find themselves under international oversight without recourse. "We cannot let this happen any longer," she declared. MS. McGHIE further explained that the resolution reaffirmed the constitutional authority of the U.S. Congress, as elected representatives of the people, over the lands of the United States. The sponsors of the resolution preferred that congress approved of any designations; not just the president and his appointees. MS. McGHIE further explained there was a committee substitute and there were expert witnesses on the teleconference line to answer any questions. Number 0278 PAUL C. JONES, Executive Director, Minerals Exploration Coalition (MEC), explained that MEC was an advocate of the multiple-use of public lands in the United States. He announced his support of HJR 14. He had over 35 years of experience in the mineral industry in North and South America at all levels of the business. The MEC was an advocate of the public policy issues involving the access to, and the safe environmental use of public lands in the U.S. for mineral exploration and development. Its membership included over 30 corporations and a diverse group of professionals engaged in mineral exploration. MR. JONES further addressed the unprecedented use of the World Heritage Convention by special interest groups in the U.S. and the current administration to circumvent the proper application of U.S. law related to the mineral industry. He cited the 1995 intervention of the World Heritage Committee - an organization attached to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - and the federal permitting process for the proposed New World Gold Mine located north-east of Yellowstone National Park in Montana. The New World project was a planned 1,500 ton per day underground mine using conventional technology. It would have had a life of about ten years, it would have employed about 175 people on a year round basis, and it would have produced approximately 130,000 ounces of gold and 3,000 tons of copper per year. In December of 1995, the World Heritage Committee prematurely and without basis of adequate facts, declared the Yellowstone National Park a world heritage site in danger because of presumed harm from the New World project. He attended a set of hearings hosted by the National Park Service and conducted by the World Heritage Committee. The committee took limited testimony of both a non-technical and technical nature on the purported effect of the New World project. Many of the non- technical comments were based on the impractical "what if" scenarios. It appeared from the questions and statements made by the chairman of the World Heritage Committee and its executive director that the committee had come to Yellowstone with its mind already made up on the subject. The committee refused to review more than three years of good science and fact-based research prepared for the environmental impact statement process before making its determination. More importantly, the company had asked the committee to reserve judgement until the draft environmental impact statement had been completed. In December of 1995, when the World Heritage Committee in Berlin, Germany arbitrarily declared the Yellowstone National Park a world heritage site, the committee contravened the established permitting process in the United States thereby unduly influencing U.S. domestic policy. The publicity surrounding the designation reiterated the slogans of the special interest groups. In early 1996 the federal administration began negotiations to acquire the New World project in exchange for surplus federal lands. The land exchange was announced on August 12, 1996 by President Clinton. In addition, on March 12, 1997 it was announced that the federal administration would offer to pay the mining company $65 million in cash from oil, gas and coal royalties for the project rather than making a land exchange. The agreement, and the extraordinary circumstances leading to its inspection, set a terrible precedent by the federal administration for using foreign intervention in U.S. domestic policy. The precedent did not set well with the U.S. regulatory system either. In summary, the determination by the World Heritage Committee that Yellowstone National Park was a world heritage site in-danger was premature and without basis of adequate facts. It was based on presumed and unsubstantiated allegations that the New World project would create irreparable harm to the park. The published environmental impact study would, most certainly, refute these allegations. "And, I personally doubt it will every be published," he said. The premature, unjustified and unwarranted declaration on the part of the World Heritage Committee provided special interest groups and their associates within the federal government to induce further challenges to a fair and unbiased permitting process. In addition, a new forum to circumvent U.S. domestic policy was also created by the World Heritage Committee with the help of the U.S. administration, special interest groups, and the media. The intervention could just as well have affected a logging project, a ranching project, a recreation project or some other segment of American life on public lands. The MEC strongly supported the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act, sponsored by Chairman Don Young. It would limit the activity of international and other organizations such as the World Heritage Committee within the U.S., unless such activity was authorized by Congress. In December of 1996, the MEC's board of directors - unanimously - passed a resolution in support of the bill. The MEC also strongly urged the passage of HJR 14 by Representative James in support of Congressman Young's act. Number 0884 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS asked Mr. Jones what he saw as the danger to the average Alaskan or American with the World Heritage Committee and its plans? He also asked Mr. Jones if the World Heritage Committee was primarily a political or an environmental group? Number 0911 MR. JONES replied the World Heritage Committee was a quasi- political, environmentally oriented group. It was more politically oriented, however. It was an outgrowth of the concept that the "have nots" should enjoy that which the "haves" had at the expense of the "haves." The danger was the circumventing of U.S. procedures as a result of outside influences like what happened to the New World project. Number 0990 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ stated that he had a problem, like Mr. Jones, with someone testifying before a committee whose mind was already made up. It was his understanding that the United States had entered into a treaty of which the regulations had flowed from. MR. JONES replied that was his understanding as well. The U.S. entered into a World Heritage Convention, a form of a treaty, in the early 1970's. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Jones if that treaty had been congressionally approved? MR. JONES replied it would have to be for it to be recognized. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated it was his understanding that regulations had to be promulgated in order to effectuate the terms of a treaty. MR. JONES replied that was not necessarily so. A treaty had the force of law if Congress ratified it without any regulations being promulgated. Number 1078 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Jones if regulations were promulgated in response to the convention? MR. JONES replied, no, not to his knowledge. He did not feel competent to answer the question, however. Number 1097 CHAIR JAMES explained in 1993 there was an additional treaty entered into called the Bio-Diversity Treaty, an entirely different treaty, that had not been approved by Congress. Yet, the federal administration had already implemented part of the treaty. She asked Mr. Jones if he was familiar with the Bio-Diversity Treaty? Number 1120 MR. JONES replied, "Yes." Chair James was correct. The treaty had not been ratified by Congress and portions of it had been implemented. Number 1133 CHAIR JAMES explained the Bio-Diversity Treaty required that the United States place 50 percent of its land-base into wilderness. MR. JONES replied he was not familiar with that part. He knew, however, that there was a large "wilderness" concept floating around in the environmental community. He hated to use the word "environmental" community because he was an environmentalist in his mining activity. "I want it done right." The special interest groups were purporting the expansion of wilderness areas in the corridors between existing wilderness areas that would also include non-wilderness areas. Number 1180 CHAIR JAMES stated the biggest threat were the buffer zones around these areas. The areas that had been designated were already existing parks thereby the buffer zone added another layer and restricted activity. In addition, the buffer zone could also be placed over private and state lands. Number 1214 MR. JONES replied that was an accurate portrayal. The chairman of the World Heritage Committee from Thailand stated that he thought it was an excellent idea to create an 18 million acre buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park. The zone would go as far east as Cody, Wyoming; as far north as Livingston, Wyoming; and well over into Idaho. The chairman thought it would be a great idea because it would help the U.S. government manage the area. Furthermore, the area that the New World Mine deposit was in was specifically excluded from a wilderness area by Congress in 1978 because of its mineral potential. "These people that want to push this concept are all for managed areas. And, managed areas mean controlled areas that means you and I can't do what we otherwise might like to do in those areas." Number 1329 PATRICK DALTON was the first person to testify via teleconference in Delta Junction. He thanked the Representatives for putting together a great resolution. "I can't believe it when something good comes out of the legislature." He suggested adding a provision to provide for the prosecuting of the individuals that took away U.S. lands and gave them to the enemy. The land was being transferred from the U.S. to the United Nations. "In my opinion, this falls under the category of treason," he declared. The Constitution of the U.S., said in Article III, Section 3, that the rules and the laws of the lands were determined by Congress; not by executive orders. He did see how a treaty could supersede a law like this. He cited the supreme court ruling of Norton v. Shelby County which stated an unconstitutional act was not lost, but rather it was inoperative as though it had never been passed. Number 1439 GREG HALL was the next person to testify via teleconference in Delta Junction. He thanked Chair James for all that she had done and because she had stood up for the voice of the people. He also thanked Representative Young for introducing legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. He strongly supported the resolution. Number 1471 JON JARVIS, Superintendent, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Anchorage. He explained the park was a part of the world heritage site that included Kluane National Park, Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park and Habitat, and Glacier Bay National Park making it the largest land-based world heritage site in the world. MR. JARVIS further stated that he did not represent the entire National Park Service or Washington D.C. He spoke only from his personal experience of managing a world heritage site. The authority for a world heritage site designation came from Congress in an amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act in the mid-1970's. The amendment granted the authority or the responsibility to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to participate in the World Heritage Convention. Subsequently, there were regulations promulgated that identified the process. The regulations did not convey any authority over the lands to any other body other than the U.S. Congress and the U.S. government. "All that the World Heritage Convention does is recognize that a particular piece of land is of world class character." It was the U.S. government that created and influenced the World Heritage Convention as an idea to get other countries to protect key resources - natural and historical; such as, the Great Wall of China. MR. JARVIS further explained the regulations said that the area would be identified, Congress would be notified, as-well-as the appropriate congressional committees, before any action would be taken before designation. In addition, once designated the U.S. government made a commitment to protect the lands with its own laws. A designation brought international attention to the lands which was what the New World Mine experienced in Yellowstone National Park. There were not any new laws or regulations on private or Native lands associated with world heritage sites. Since the establishment of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve as a world heritage site there was no history or record of any influence of an international body on management decisions for the area. The park had received, however, a significant amount of international tourists because it was a world heritage site which contributed significantly to Alaska's economy. It also established a close working relationship with Canada in the Kluane and the Tatshenshini-Alsek parks; in particular, as it related to search and rescue. Number 1728 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Jarvis to explain the difference between a world heritage site and a biosphere reserve? Number 1733 MR. JARVIS replied they were different conventions and different designations. He did not know exactly what the biosphere designation was because he had never worked in one. He was more familiar with the World Heritage Convention. Number 1751 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Jarvis if the world heritage sites had buffer zones and transitional zones? Number 1756 MR. JARVIS replied they did not. CHAIR JAMES explained the biosphere reserves had buffer zones and transitional zones. That was her biggest concern because the buffer zone around the identified biosphere reserve restricted human activity. Denali National Park was a biosphere reserve, for example. Number 1776 MR. JARVIS replied that was his understanding as well. The concept of a biosphere reserve and its buffer zone was being used positively in communities in other countries by not eliminating human occupancy and use, but by recognizing that the people were closely linked to the lands. Number 1927 CHAIR JAMES stated that the whole issue and the rationale sounded innocent. The problem was the implementation when most of the land in Alaska was tied up anyway. Therefore, restricting access and restricting the ability to use the land was threatened. In addition, the general public was not aware or notified of this until it had already happened. She asked Mr. Jarvis if he understood her concern? Number 1873 MR. JARVIS replied, "Yes." The 1979 designation of the Wrangell- St. Elias National Park and Preserve was a very big public deal. There were many dinners and celebrations. Glacier Park National Park in Montana was a new proposed world heritage site and there were a variety of public meetings and media attention. It was not something that was done behind closed doors. Number 1906 CHAIR JAMES replied it was not the world heritage sites that were a threat but rather the biosphere reserves. They had a different function, correct? Number 1916 MR. JARVIS replied he was not qualified to speak on the biosphere reserve system. Number 1923 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON asked Mr. Jarvis how long had the Wrangell-St. Elias Park and National Preserve been a world heritage site? MR. JARVIS replied it was designated in 1979. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Mr. Jarvis if during that time had he ever received a directive or an order from anybody at the United Nations? MR. JARVIS replied, "No." There was no record, file or any indication that the park had received anything from the World Heritage Committee or any international body concerning the management of the area. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that Mr. Jarvis saw a strong economic component of the designation of a world heritage site because of the increase in international tourism. MR. JARVIS replied, "Yes." It was a fact. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that Mr. Jarvis also indicated that the relationship between Alaska and Canada was cooperative and not coercive. MR. JARVIS replied the relationship was very cooperative. Number 2006 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY asked Mr. Jarvis to clarify his position and his connection with the Canadian park system - the Kluane National Park, in particular. Number 2017 MR. JARVIS replied he was superintendent of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. He worked for the National Park Service. Wrangell-St. Elias and Kluane were designated together as a world heritage site in 1979. Since then, Tatshenshini-Alsek and Glacier Bay were added because they were contiguous. As a result, the world heritage site designation had facilitated a working relationship. He cited this summer a Mexican climbing team was caught in an avalanche on Mt. St. Elias, of which, the Kluane rescue team was able to rescued them off of the mountain in a matter of hours; quicker than flying a helicopter from Anchorage or Fairbanks. It was this type of cooperation that occurred throughout the year. Number 2082 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that he did not realize these parks were a contiguous unit. MR. JARVIS explained that the Wrangell-St. Elias Park and Preserve touched the Canadian border and Kluane was on the other side. Moving south, the Tatshenshini-Alsek touched Glacier Bay. Number 2117 CHAIR JAMES stated that a mining effort in Haines was halted because of the world heritage site designation. Do you remember that Mr. Jarvis? MR. JARVIS replied he was not familiar with that. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY explained the project was called the Windy Craggy project in Canada. CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Jarvis if that project was in the area? MR. JARVIS replied he was not familiar with that. Number 2146 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS asked Mr. Jarvis what he saw as his primary duty in respect to world heritage site directives? And, what would he do if he got a directive from the United Nations today? Number 2161 MR. JARVIS replied he would ignore the directive because he worked for the U.S. government and he took his direction from U.S. law, such as, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) and the regulations that were promulgated in the public process. "I'm a strong believer in the public processes, the American public process." Therefore, any directive from the United Nations would be way out of line and he would report it to Washington D.C. MR. JARVIS further stated that his responsibility as a manager of a world heritage site was primarily to educate the public - American and international - on the significance and importance of the area; such as, its long-term uses that were recognized in ANILCA. Number 2217 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS asked Mr. Jarvis, if he would ignore the directive, then why be a world heritage site? MR. JARVIS replied a world heritage site recognition had nothing to do with any directives. It was only a recognition along with 175 other sites from around the world that were considered important from a world-class standpoint. "It's basically a recognition that the Wrangell mountains are unparalleled in the world; there's nothing else like them." It was tough to get on the list so it was something to be proud of. Number 2255 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Jarvis if the designation of a world heritage site simply meant that it was a pretty place? MR. JARVIS replied, "No." There were many pretty places in the world. A designation meant that there were a combination of factors that made it unique in the world. There were many, many countries that would love to get sites on the list that had been unsuccessful. It was more than just pretty. Number 2284 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Jarvis what regulations were promulgated by the Departments of Agriculture and Interior pursuant to the convention that applied to his work, and when were they promulgated? MR. JARVIS replied he did not have that information with him now. He would have his office forward that information to him. Number 2313 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Jarvis if he had received any regulations; and, roughly, what were their subject matter? MR. JARVIS replied the regulations were related to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. He would send a copy of them to the committee. Number 2329 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON asked Mr. Jarvis if the tenor of what he was saying was that the designation was valuable to the people of the U.S., and that the resolution was an overreaction? MR. JARVIS replied there were legitimate concerns by the public, but they were generally born out of confusion of what the World Heritage Convention really meant. It did not convey any authority to anyone, other than the American government and the people. The convention asked that any country that had a world heritage site use to its own authority to protect the site. Number 2376 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated that he was personally a bit skeptical. The mine outside of Yellowstone National Park was precluded from being developed because of the designation. Correct? MR. JARVIS replied, "I think you're correct." It did play a part because it brought world recognition and attention to the issue. It certainly did not bring about any new rules or regulations, however. Number 2406 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON commented there was concern that any designation would put significant, if not insurmountable, barriers around resource and infrastructure development. He asked Mr. Jarvis if that was an unduly concern? MR. JARVIS replied there was nothing in the designation that prohibited any of the current and on-going activities on the lands in Alaska. For example, in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve there were 675 mining claims, of which, 3 were operating at this time and there were no restriction as a result of the designation. Other activities such as sport hunting continued in the park as well. Number 2466 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON explained there was concern that major developments, such as roads, would be.... TAPE 97-26, SIDE B Number 0001 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Jarvis if we should be concerned? Number 0006 MR. JARVIS replied it would definitely bring more public attention from an international standpoint to major developmental issues. If a major development was proposed for an area that had been designated, and there was a perception that it compromised the primary integrity of the area, then there would be additional public attention. Number 0033 CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Jarvis if in Glacier Bay National Park cultural and historical subsistence use were restricted in the area? Number 0043 MR. JARVIS replied he was not familiar enough with the Glacier Bay issues to answer the question. He would rather defer the question to the superintendent of Glacier Bay. Number 0053 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Mr. Jarvis if he had implied that there would be an international component to the decision making process? Number 0070 MR. JARVIS replied, "No, Sir." International organizations would not have any role in the decision making process; it was a decision that would be made via the normal public process and legal requirements of the United States. Number 0095 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY explained that some members of the Alaska State Legislature were about to have a legislative exchange with the Yukon Territory. He asked Mr. Jarvis if he could think of any suggestions or issues that should be brought up with the Canadians? Number 0118 MR. JARVIS suggested that the members ask what was the Canadian view of a world heritage designation site. It would be interesting to hear from other countries what their view of a world heritage site meant. Number 0136 CHAIR JAMES stated, for the record, that her biggest concern was the biosphere reserves as opposed to the world heritage sites. She appreciated the testimony of Mr. Jarvis today on the world heritage sites, nevertheless. Number 0147 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY explained that the folks in the Yukon Territory were benefitting from a substantial economic boom in timber harvesting because the Canadian government had removed large amounts of timber in British Columbia from the market. Number 0167 FRANK DILLON, Executive Director, Alaska Trucking Association, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Anchorage. The association supported HJR 14 because the trucking industry feared that it would loose options in its use of the natural resources in the land base available for economic development. The industry had been dealing with terms like "wilderness" and "national parks." Now, there were terms like "world heritage sites", "biosphere reserves", "wildlife refuges" and "national landmarks." There was also a plethora a state and local zoning considerations for land- use as well as Indian country designations. The association was worried that the overall goal behind these designations and the reasons were not straight forward. There was a reason to be concerned about the biosphere reserves and the language that was used to protect the area. He was also concerned about the buffer zone and the understanding of where the discrete ecosystems were. "Does an ecosystem change when we get to the border of a park or a wildlife area? I don't think so." There was really only one ecosystem that was interconnected from a molecular level to a universal level. Therefore, the definitions seemed wide open to expansion and exclusion. Number 0262 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Dillon if he was more concerned with the biospheres rather than the world heritage sites? Number 0270 MR. DILLON replied the association was concerned about the enormous amount of effort it took to identify these types of areas expanding the control. He did not want issues in Alaska to be decided upon by the folks in the United Nations. "It's bad enough having decisions in Alaska decided in Washington D.C." Number 0290 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Dillon if he was concerned that there would be areas of Alaska that would be withdrawn from potential development? MR. DILLON replied, "Correct." He was also concerned about the potential control by foreigners. Number 0305 STEVE BORELL, Executive Director, Alaska Miners Association, Inc., was the next person to testify via teleconference in Anchorage. The association supported HJR 14. World heritage sites and biosphere reserves were possibly the single-greatest threat to future economic activity in Western Alaska; and, specifically, in the area of mining. Designations could be used to block mineral development and any other perceived activity that was felt to be a threat to the designations. Congressman Don Young's bill - HR 901 - was simple; yet, extremely important. It required that Congress approve any international designation, including world heritage sites and biosphere reserves. Currently, world heritage sites could be nominated by the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture; and biosphere reserves could be designated by the U.S. Department of State, without congressional input. MR. BORELL further stated that he was aware of two instances where a world heritage site was used to block a mining project. He cited the Yellowstone mining project where both national and international groups used the argument that it was a world heritage site to oppose mining development outside of the park in an area where mining had begun before the park was established and had been occurring for over 100 years. The other example involved the designation of a world heritage site in Kamchatka, Russia - Volcanoes of Kamchatka World Heritage Site - in 1996. Immediately after the designation a group of U.S. and international environmental groups challenged the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to not insure the mine developmental investments. MR. BORELL further stated that in Alaska the association's immediate concern was the proposed park in Western Alaska. The language was crafted to say that it would not affect any new lands that were not in a conservational system unit. Nevertheless, tremendous dangers were involved. The proposals were: An international park that included parts of the Russian Far East, a world heritage site, and a marine biosphere reserve for the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia. He fully expected, if one of the designations occurred, groups would seek to block development. He reiterated there was not a provision in the law that would not allow something to be built outside of a world heritage site, but he was concerned about the perception that was presented to the world and to the investment communities. The investment community could not withstand that type of pressure which was what happened to the project outside of Yellowstone. MR. BORELL further stated that Northwest Alaska had about one- fourth of the U.S.'s coal reserves. The only way to transport the coal, in his opinion, was by rail to a port crossing several different conservational system units. He was concerned about the groups screaming at the top of their voice if these units were designated as a world heritage site. In addition, he wondered what exactly was a marine biosphere reserve which was being proposed for the Bering Sea. Did it include whaling, for example; and would the same pressures against Norwegians be placed upon Alaskan Natives? MR. BORELL further wondered how a world heritage sight or a biosphere reserve could be used as an economic tool against the United States and against Alaska, in particular. The market for the coal from Northwest Alaska would be the Pacific Rim and the competitors in the Pacific Rim were: Indonesia, Australia, India and South Africa. He was concerned about the governmental connections between the U.S. and Indonesia. Indonesia was a country with massive coal deposits and with ports already in place. "Why would the Indonesians and why would other countries not look to create pressure against a major competitor like the coal in Northwest Alaska." Furthermore, if the international mining and investment community had known that the Red Dog mine would have been such a major factor in the world market, they would have funneled monies into groups to block the project. MR. BORELL stated, in conclusion, he was pleased to see the resolution before the legislature. He was also pleased to see Congressman Young seeking to put sideboards on a situation that was very dangerous. Number 0862 LEONARD EFTA was the next person to testify via teleconference in Kenai. He did not see why a bill was needed to protect the sovereignty of the nation. He knew of nothing in the constitution that authorized anyone to turn over one inch of this country to a foreign power. "If the Senate did indeed pass a treaty authorizing this, I believe that the steps should be to tell the Senate; and, I said "tell" not "ask" the Senate, to get us out of that treaty, period." CHAIR JAMES explained to Mr. Efta that was exactly what the resolution did. Number 0916 ERIC WEATHERS was the next person to testify via teleconference in Cordova. He supported the need for an alarm of the world heritage sites and the biosphere reserves because it was unconstitutional for the President to make treaties with foreign countries. "I believe he should be tried for treason immediately and shot, and all U.N. affiliates run out of this country." He did not recognize any world organizations. "There will not and shall not be any international agreements within the United States. No compromise. Get out of my country." Number 0948 DENNY WEATHERS was the next person to testify via teleconference in Cordova. She commended the committee members. "I know you're trying to do the best." At the same time, she opposed HJR 14 because it was unconstitutional. According to the Constitutions of the U.S. and Alaska, jurisdiction of Alaska did not belong to the United States; it belonged to the people of Alaska. She cited Article XV, Section 18, Constitution of Alaska, "Territorial Assets and Liabilities"; and Section 25, "Effective Date." The assets of the Territory became the property of the state when it joined the union. She further stated that the Constitution of the U.S. protected the fifty sovereign states from the U.S. jurisdiction under Article IV, Section 3, Section 4, and Amendment number 10. The U.S. jurisdiction was better defined under Article I, Section 8, which allowed for the U.S. to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state for the erection of forts, and arsenals, for example. She stated no where in either constitutions did it give the U.S. Congress or the President the power or authority within Alaska to create or designate national parks, world heritage sites or biosphere reserves. The states only had the powers designated to them by the constitution and no more. In addition, Title 18, Section 7, U.S. Codes, specified that territorial jurisdiction extended only outside of the boundaries of the lands belonging to any of the fifty states. There were many court cases concerning the U.S. and the jurisdiction of the stat, of which, one indicated that the states were separate sovereigns in respect to the federal government. She cited the court case of Heath v. Alabama. In 1992, the New York supreme court ruled that Congress exercised its confirmed powers subject to the limitations contained in the constitution. Thus, if a state ratified or gave consent to any authority that was not specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States, it was null and void. She requested that the Alaska State Legislature make no deals with the federal government without first getting approval from the voters. "I do not believe Alaska is for sale to the federal government." Maybe, it would be wise to follow the lead of the other states seeking to boot out the feds; such as: Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and Oregon. In conclusion, she opposed HJR 14 because the laws were already there; it was not necessary, because "we owned our land." MS. WEATHERS asked if the Alaska State Legislature legally seceded property over to the United States or the federal government without the knowledge of the people of Alaska? CHAIR JAMES replied, "No." She was not an authority, however. She would take her question into consideration and respond to her later. Number 1198 IRENE ANDERSON was the next person to testify via teleconference in Nome. The resolution was needed because the general public needed to know about the conservation and international groups that wanted to do things that the state was afraid of - the control of land use in the buffer zones and the transitional areas. She did not want them to interfere in access to the sea or restrict the people here in Nome. She cited the access problems of the Bering Land Bridge. The people in Shishmaref were surrounded by the Bering Land Bridge so they were not able to build a road, for example. And, the people of Wales would like to be guaranteed their right to subsistence. She also felt for the Natives on the Russian side because they were already poor and a designation would limit their land-base and ownership. The U.S. government should not use its power and the people's taxes to make an international park when they were already poor. Furthermore, there were millions of dollars being spent on research projects in the Bering Land Bridge. "We feel that we're too little. We're just a little group of people up here in the Seward Peninsula area." She appreciated the work of the legislature; otherwise, she feared the Nome area would become overrun and become worse than a third world nation because it would not have access to that which it needed. It needed, for example, access to Serpentine Hot Springs, of which, a request had already been denied. It was hard for the people of Shishmaref to get gravel for infrastructure. Number 1590 JOHN BREIVOGEL was the next person to testify via teleconference in Glennallen. The main value of the bill was so that the people would be aware that something ominous was going on. Ownership did not need to be proved. The people in the area of the Wrangell park were sincere. They did not realize that they were being manipulated by the collective will of the 185 member nations of the United Nations, however. There was an international court of justice. There were three United Nations organizations in Anchorage: The United Nations Association of the U.S.A. - Alaska Chapter, The Northern Forum, and The Alaska-United Nations 50th Anniversary Commission. He said, if one really wanted to know what was going on, go to Walter Hickel, honorary chairman of the commission; Willy Hensley, co-chairman; and Bill Sheffield, chairman. In addition, go to Senator Frank Murkowski, who nominated Walter Hickel to the World Court. He reiterated the park service was totally unaware of how they were being manipulated. "The real enemy is much closer to home and we need to look at this real carefully. The biggest part of the problem is right in downtown Anchorage and all these little clubs that are associations which get grants and funds from everywhere." He would be glad to share his information with anybody that was interested. Number 1958 MATT KRINKE was the next person to testify via teleconference in Glennallen. He opposed HJR 14. "If you give them more to work with, this bill would become legal and we will not have our rights." He suggested looking at the material that was available to see how the state was being ripped off of its land. The land belonged to the people. "Please uphold our constitution and try to save us from these evil people who are steeling our land from us." Number 2007 PAUL WEIR was the next person to testify via teleconference in Glennallen. He was against any connection to the United Nations. "We need to keep the U.S. sovereign." Red China, Cuba and many other communist nations were members of the U.N. "We need to get the United States out of the United Nations." He thanked Chair James for her fine piece of legislation. Number 2039 STANLEY LEPHART, Executive Director, Citizens Advisory Commission on Federal Areas, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Natural Resources, was the next person to testify via teleconference in Fairbanks. The commission voted - unanimously - to support the passage of HJR 14. Although the commission had a lot to learn about biosphere reserves and world heritage sites, it was concerned. It was particularly concerned about the effects of the designations and the ability of the state to exercise its management authority over its natural resources both fish and wildlife. It was also concerned about the impact on private property interest either within or adjacent to areas designated under one of the programs. The United Nation's biosphere ban was created in 1968 and the World Heritage Convention was created in 1972. During the intervening years, the programs operated in relative obscurity as-far-as the American public was concerned. Furthermore, the UNESCO guidelines discouraged publicity of a nomination to maintain objectivity of the evaluation process and to avoid embarrassment to those concerned. The guidance had been revised, however, to state that participation by local people in the nomination process was essential to ensure a shared responsibility with the state party and the maintenance of the site. World heritage sites had increased the public's awareness of the programs surrounding a site, such as, the Yellowstone example; and had affected local management prerogatives. The proposal to develop the Windy Craggy Copper Mine in British Columbia provided the impetus for the Department of Interior to nominate Glacier Bay National Park as a world heritage site in 1991. The submission letter noted the environmental threats posed by the mineral claims on the Brady Ice Field, the 10 Native allotment claims, and the existence of commercial fishing. "I can't help but wonder how these statements fit with the program's guidelines to try to garnish support by local people in this case - fishermen and allotment owners for the support and nomination of the maintenance of the site." Glacier Bay as both a world heritage site and a biosphere reserve continued to be a major factor in the efforts by the National Park Service and a number of environmental organizations to close the bay to commercial fishing. He further explained that there were four biosphere reserves in Alaska: Glacier Bay National Park/Admiralty Island National Monument, Denali National Park and Preserve, Noatak National Preserve, and the Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, there were eight world heritage sites in Alaska: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Denali National Park and Preserve, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Park, Wrangell- St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, and the Aleutian Island Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Six of the areas mentioned had been nominated while only Glacier Bay and Wrangell-St. Elias were actually inscribed as world heritage sites. In practice, there was not a distinction between a nomination and an inscribed area. There were buffer zones identified, but according to the.... TAPE 97-27, SIDE A Number 0001 MR. LEPHART further stated that a designation of an area as a biosphere reserve or a world heritage site was not suppose to convey any regulatory powers over the lands within the United States. However, there were numerous examples of how the designations influenced the management decisions by U.S. federal agencies. The commission believed that there was sufficient concern to justify an approval by Congress, state, or local governments before any area was designated. CHAIR JAMES called for a motion to adopt the committee substitute. Number 0152 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS moved that the committee substitute, 0- LS0355/E, Luckhaupt, 3/7/97, be adopted. There was no objection, the committee substitute was so adopted. Number 0182 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS moved that HJR 14, as amended, move from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note(s). Number 0209 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected to make a few comments. He did intend to vote to pass the bill out of the committee. He was sorry that the committee could not get more of the testimony from Stan Lephart, Executive Director, Citizens Advisory Commission on Federal Areas. The commission was part of the Department of Natural Resources. It was a resource that was available to this committee and he encouraged the members to make use of it. "Stan has done the most thorough research on this subject that I have ever seen." CHAIR JAMES stated that just because the resolution was passed from the committee the work was not done. It was an on-going issue. She asked Representative Vezey if his objection was still maintained? REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY replied, "No." CHAIR JAMES asked the committee members if there was further objection to the motion. There was no further objection, the CSHJR 14(STA) was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee. ADJOURNMENT Number 0347 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting at 10:04 a.m.