Legislature(2021 - 2022)DAVIS 106

03/09/2021 08:00 AM TRIBAL AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
08:00:41 AM Start
08:01:26 AM HB10
08:26:35 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 10 FUNTER BAY MARINE PARK: UNANGAN CEMETERY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                          
                         March 9, 2021                                                                                          
                           8:00 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Mike Cronk                                                                                                       
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 10                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the Funter  Bay marine park unit of the state                                                               
park system; relating to protection  of the social and historical                                                               
significance  of  the Unangax  cemetery  located  in Funter  Bay;                                                               
providing  for  the amendment  of  the  management plan  for  the                                                               
Funter  Bay marine  park  unit; and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - -- TESTIMONY <INVITATION ONLY> --                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  10                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FUNTER BAY MARINE PARK: UNANGAN CEMETERY                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HANNAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/24/21       (H)       TRB REPLACES FIN REFERRAL                                                                              
02/24/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
03/01/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/01/21       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/03/21       (H)       RES REFERRAL MOVED TO AFTER TRB                                                                        
03/03/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
03/09/21       (H)       TRB AT 8:00 AM DAVIS 106                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
TIMOTHY CLARK                                                                                                                   
Staff to Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Shared a PowerPoint  and answered questions                                                             
during the meeting.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
RICKY GEASE                                                                                                                     
Director                                                                                                                        
Division of Parks & Recreation                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided invited  testimony  and  offered                                                             
comments during the meeting.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESTON KROES                                                                                                                   
Southeast Region Superintendent                                                                                                 
Alaska Department of Natural Resources                                                                                          
Division of Parks & Recreation                                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Provided invited  testimony  and  offered                                                             
comments during the meeting.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:00:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TIFFANY ZULKOSKY  called  the House  Special Committee  on                                                             
Tribal Affairs  meeting to  order at  8:00 a.m.   Representatives                                                               
Cronk, Ortiz,  Fields, and Zulkosky  were present at the  call to                                                               
order.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        HB  10-FUNTER BAY MARINE PARK: UNANGAN CEMETERY                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:01:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 10, "An Act relating to  the Funter Bay marine                                                               
park unit  of the  state park system;  relating to  protection of                                                               
the social  and historical significance  of the  Unangax cemetery                                                               
located  in  Funter  Bay;  providing for  the  amendment  of  the                                                               
management  plan  for  the  Funter  Bay  marine  park  unit;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:01:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN,  as  prime   sponsor,  introduced  HB  10                                                               
regarding the protection of Unangan  Cemetery on the Northern tip                                                               
of Admiralty  Island.  It may  remind members of House  Bill 122,                                                               
the  Funter  Bay Protection  Bill,  which  passed the  House  and                                                               
Senate and had only been  awaiting scheduling from Senate Finance                                                               
in the  spring of 2019  when committee recessed due  to COVID-19.                                                               
Similarly, the purpose  of HB 10 was to transfer  about 250 acres                                                               
of state  land from the Division  of Mining, Land and  Water into                                                               
the  purview of  the Division  of Parks  & Recreation  ("Parks").                                                               
Land would be transferred but  management wouldn't change, as the                                                               
land had  already been  managed for recreation  for a  long time,                                                               
she  put  forth.   Transferred  land  will  become part  of,  and                                                               
continue  to be  maintained, as  part  of the  Funter Bay  Marine                                                               
Park.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN shared  Unangan Cemetery  was adjacent  to                                                               
what  had been  a relocation  camp in  World War  II.   After the                                                               
bombing  of  Dutch Harbor  in  1942,  the US  military  relocated                                                               
Alaska  Native people  from the  Aleutian Peninsula  and Pribilof                                                               
Islands to six  different relocation sites, two of  which were in                                                               
Funter Bay.   One of these such sites (Funter  Bay Cannery) was a                                                               
former  cannery that  had been  abandoned due  to lack  of water.                                                               
Across the  bay, at an  abandoned mine, was another  camp (Funter                                                               
Bay Mine);  another (Killisnoo) was located  near Angoon; another                                                               
(Ward  Lake)  near  Ketchikan;   one  (Wrangell  Institute)  near                                                               
Wrangell,  and  lastly,  Burnett  Inlet.   Ungangan  and  Aleutic                                                               
people, about 800  in total, had been relocated within  days.  It                                                               
had been  determined in as much  time it was an  inadequate place                                                               
and  wholly uninhabitable;  furthermore,  men  were still  forced                                                               
during subsistence times  to return to the Pribilofs  to hunt for                                                               
seals.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:06:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN shared  the  Ungangan  people have  always                                                               
marked,  maintained,  and noted  the  graves  were there  at  the                                                               
cemetery.  Though it is close  to Juneau, only about 15 miles, it                                                               
is  a severe  passage of  water and  not able  to be  served from                                                               
Juneau.   Burnett Island was able  to be served by  Wrangell, she                                                               
added.  The camp remained a  horrible place to people to survive,                                                               
she offered.   Folks from the  cities of St. Paul  and St. George                                                               
were not  allowed to return to  their homes for an  additional 18                                                               
months post-  war when  other communities  could be  returned to,                                                               
partly because  their communities  had been  destroyed by  the US                                                               
military to  prevent the  Japanese, if  they invaded,  from being                                                               
able  to use  village sites  as reinforced  compounds.   In about                                                               
2011,  the  cemetery located  on  private  property in  Killisnoo                                                               
changed  hands,  forbidding   descendants  from  visiting  family                                                               
members  who had  been  buried  there.   This  is what  activated                                                               
Unangans whose family  members were in Funter Bay  to seek secure                                                               
and permanent  access to  their families'  cemetery so  that they                                                               
always had access and could visit in peace.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  added Funter Bay was  an undeveloped park;                                                               
also, that  there was a zero  fiscal note and no  additional cost                                                               
to  the state.  The group  Friends of  Admiralty Island  has been                                                               
involved  and  would put  some  signage  up explaining  what  the                                                               
remains are, she stated.  It  did not impact any private property                                                               
landowners and is supported by most of them, she added.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:10:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRONK asked  for a  more detailed  map of  Funter                                                               
Bay.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  replied  there  was  a  map  in  members'                                                               
packets,  the  added  land an  "island"  between  existing  state                                                               
parcels.   When it came  time to select  the land, so  that there                                                               
were not two management overseers, a  survey would have had to be                                                               
done at a cost.   It was put forth the sliver of  bog land with a                                                               
cliff behind it had never had commercial interest.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:13:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  added two individuals  from Parks were  ready and                                                               
available  to testify to this.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:13:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIMOTHY CLARK, Staff to Representative  Sara Hannan, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, walked the committee  through a PowerPoint including                                                               
visuals from  Unangan Cemetery.  The  image from 2017 in  slide 2                                                               
was taken  after an  attempt at restoration  had been  made after                                                               
decades of neglect and isolation, he  said.  He moved on to slide                                                               
3, a  map showing where  the cemetery  in Funter Bay  was located                                                               
from Juneau, quite  a bit more circuitous than its  mere 15 miles                                                               
when taken  by boat.   Different parcels  in the  existing Funter                                                               
Bay Marine Park, and  the areas to be added by  HB 10, would join                                                               
to noncontiguous parts  of the marine park, was seen  on slide 4.                                                               
Transfer to park  meant protections would not  only be maintained                                                               
but enhanced,  he shared.   Friends of  Admiralty Island  and the                                                               
working group  were also committed  to enhancing  and maintaining                                                               
trails to  the park, mainly from  the beach head, he  stated.  As                                                               
depicted  in  slide  5,  infrastructure   of  cannery  today  was                                                               
decayed; what  those found in  WWII was not  dramatically better,                                                               
he  pointed out.   Funter  Bay  and other  internment camps  were                                                               
depicted on slide 6, he said.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:18:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  asked  regarding  slide  4,  if  track  A02  was                                                               
currently  not  pursued  for  any  commercial  interests,  so  in                                                               
addition to  the island in  the bay would  be managed by  DNR who                                                               
also managed the other tracts.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CLARK replied  yes  that the  individuals  from Parks  could                                                               
speak to  it, that there was  nothing to be sacrificed,  and that                                                               
the  transfer required  no additional  surveying  which kept  the                                                               
cost at zero.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:20:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICKY GEASE, Director, Division  of Parks & Recreation, supported                                                               
HB 10  and said  Parks would  be happy  to manage  it, as  it was                                                               
important to  the culture  and history of  the state  and Unangan                                                               
people.   He pointed out the  Division of Mining, Land  and Water                                                               
was  Parks'  sister  agency,  and  as  such  were  able  to  form                                                               
Interagency  Land Management  Agreements  with  the authority  of                                                               
going up to 640 acres to be  managed as though it were state park                                                               
land.    The  agreements  were   an  easy  way  for  agencies  to                                                               
coordinate  land   management  at   a  reduced  cost,   he  said.                                                               
Considering  the  cultural  and social  significance,  he  stated                                                               
Parks division was happy to permanently authorize the transfer.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:23:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESTON   KROES,   Southeast    Region   Superintendent,   Alaska                                                               
Department of Natural Resources,  Division of Parks & Recreation,                                                               
shared he was  approached by Citizens Advisory  Board, Friends of                                                               
Admiralty Island to find a way  to protect the parcel of land and                                                               
have it classified  as a national landmark and had  been asked to                                                               
advise.  The  benefit of going through legislature is  it will be                                                               
outright part of state park and  much more sufficient in terms of                                                               
protection.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:26:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Tribal Affairs meeting was adjourned at                                                                    
8:26 a.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 10 Sponsor Statement 1.15.2021.pdf HTRB 3/9/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 10
HB 10 Sectional Analysis Version A 1.15.2021.pdf HTRB 3/9/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 10
HB 10 Version A.PDF HTRB 3/9/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 10
HB 10 Fiscal Note.pdf HTRB 3/9/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 10
HB 10 PowerPoint Presentation 2.18.2021.pdf HTRB 3/9/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 10
HB 10 Support Letters.pdf HTRB 3/9/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 10