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30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature


00 Enrolled SJR 4                                                                                                          
01 Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation providing for the exemption of legally                            
02 acquired walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory from laws that ban the sale, use, and                                      
03 possession of ivory.                                                                                                    
04                                         _______________                                                                 
05 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
06      WHEREAS the Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1361 - 1423h) explicitly                                       
07 protects the right of coastal Alaska Natives to harvest walrus and use the walrus byproducts in                         
08 handicrafts for sale in the United States; and                                                                          
09      WHEREAS the use by Alaska Natives of legally acquired walrus, mammoth, and                                         
10 mastodon ivory to create tools, handicrafts, jewelry, and artwork is a longstanding tradition                           
11 that is a vital component of current Alaska Native culture; and                                                         
12      WHEREAS non-Native individuals in the state use legally acquired fossilized ivory                                  
13 to make handicrafts, jewelry, and artwork; and                                                                          
14      WHEREAS the sale of walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory tools, handicrafts,                                        
15 jewelry, and artwork by Alaska artists is an important source of income in the cash-limited                             
16 economy of rural Alaska; and                                                                                            
01      WHEREAS, in the effort to stop the poaching of African elephants, certain states in                                
02 the United States have passed laws banning the sale, use, and possession of all ivory, and                              
03 other states are considering enacting those laws; and                                                                   
04      WHEREAS the laws banning the sale, use, and possession of ivory in certain states of                               
05 the United States do not distinguish between African elephant ivory and the legally acquired                            
06 walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory used by Alaska artists; and                                                         
07      WHEREAS the laws banning the sale, use, and possession of ivory may subject                                        
08 residents of certain states to criminal charges for buying, owning, or bringing home legally                            
09 acquired walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory items from Alaska; and                                                     
10      WHEREAS the laws banning the sale, use, and possession of ivory in certain states                                  
11 adversely affect those Alaska artists who depend on the sale of ivory handicrafts to obtain the                         
12 cash necessary to live in cash-limited local economies;                                                                 
13      BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes the inclusion of legally                                  
14 acquired walrus, mammoth, and mastodon ivory in current and future laws that ban the sale,                              
15 use, and possession of ivory; and be it                                                                                 
16      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests that the United                                        
17 States Congress pass legislation providing for the exemption of legally acquired walrus,                                
18 mammoth, and mastodon ivory from current and future laws that ban the sale, use, and                                    
19 possession of ivory.                                                                                                    
20      COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President                                
21 of the United States; the Honorable Michael R. Pence, Vice President of the United States and                           
22 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of                                  
23 Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of                                       
24 Representatives; the Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the                                 
25 Honorable Charles E. Schumer, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; and the Honorable Lisa                                
26 Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young,                                   
27 U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.                                                      
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