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White House order, January 7, 1903, reserving and setting apart St.
selected population data for the States, Alaska, and Hawaii: Statistics
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 1954
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10:45 a. m., pursuant to call, in the committee room, 224 Senate Office Building, Senator Thomas H. Kuchel presiding.
Present: Senators Guy Cordon, Oregon (chairman of the subcommittee, presiding); Thomas H. Kuchel, California; George A. Smathers, Florida; and Henry M. Jackson, Washington.
Present also: E. L. Bartlett, Delegate from Alaska, House of Representatives.
Present also: Kirkley S. Coulter, chief clerk and staff director; N. D. McSherry, assistant chief clerk; and Stewart French, professional staff member.
Present also: Elmer F. Bennett, legislative counsel, and Herbert J. Slaughter, Chief, Reference Division, Office of Legislative Counsel, Department of the Interior.
Senator KUCHEL. The committee will come to order.
Senator ANDERSON. Mr. Chairman, I think one of the things which the committee should address itself to and I know that Senator Jackson has another matter that he desires to bring up with reference to the fishing industry-I think one of the things that the subcommittee should deal with promptly is the proposal which was made by Senator Barrett, to which I heartily subscribe, that we ought not to give Alaska just the remains after everybody else has picked it dry. He referred to the good land of Alaska, which is now tied up in reservations, and I could not agree more than I did with the Senator from Wyoming in what he said about taking away all this good land.
I have been in correspondence with the Alaska Statehood Commission trying to get from them language which might cure this. In other words, I felt it was the responsibility of the Alaska Statehood Commission to hire a lawyer to do the drafting on this rather than that it was my responsibility to hire a lawyer.
I have a letter that deals with what they say relating to reduction in the size of some of the Federal reservations, including the national parks and the national monuments. Delegate Bartlett wrote me and said:
I agree with you wholeheartedly about this, but to date I have not found a proper technical means to put this into the statehood bill or to arrive at an exact description relating to the new and smaller areas for these reservations which, incidentally, should not be the only ones cut down in size.
You may be interested, in this connection, in a letter which I wrote Secretary McKay in response to a petition from the residents of Naknek, Alaska, and a copy of a further letter on that subject addressed to me by a resident of Naknek,
Since the Federal Government has never spent a silver or a paper dollar on Katmai, it does seem terribly cruel that these people, badly hurt economically by successive failures of the salmon run in Bristol Bay, should be denied all right to utilize any of the resources of the nearby national monument.
Senator JACKSON. Is that Naknek?
Senator ANDERSON. These people wanted to hunt in there, and of course they could not because it was a national monument. If you want to hunt somewhere else, it is a national park. If you want to hunt somewhere else, it is a moose reservation. If you want to hunt in the next spot, it is a Kodiak bear reservation. The next spot you go to, it is a reservation for jackrabbits.
This thing was started, I think, in the period when Secretary Ickes was Secretary of the Interior and followed along pretty heavily, I think, by Secretary Krug. Between the two of them, they set up enough reservations up there so they have effectively taken a great deal of the good land of Alaska out of circulation and put it in these reservations.
I would like to see if we could not invite the Department of the Interior in and say, No. 1, we would like to cut down the national parks to those things which are customary to a national park.
Senator Jackson. National parks and monuments.
Senator ANDERSON. I was going to say, No. 2, we would like to cut down the national monuments. No. 3, I do not know whom we could get in next, but I would like to cut down the reserves for various types of animals, and then maybe we might have some areas which we could utilize, both for individuals to live on and for industries to thrive.
I mentioned the other day that in Mount McKinley National Park there is an excellent deposit which could easily be made into a cement plant but, in order to make sure it is not used, the park angles out around it, so we can be certain there will be no development of Alaskan industry.
That is not what we put into our national parks elsewhere in the United States. I wish that some language might be developed that would do that.
Senator KUCHEL. If I understand you, Senator, your thought is that the State of Alaska would have reserved to the Federal Govern. ment the same type of property devoted to the same type of reservation that the other States of the Union today have reserved from them to the Federal Government.
Senator ANDERSON. Yes. If you go in to Yosemite, you see a very centrally located area. If you operated on the same basis that they have operated in Alaska, you would carry the Yosemite Reservation to the Pacific and drop down and take in part of Sun Valley and a few things of that nature, in order to make sure that you had enough area there. Anything less than a million acres is frowned upon, apparently, in setting up a reservation in Alaska.
Senator KUCHEL. Would it not be feasible for the Department to indicate to us precisely what, in its judgment, under this theory of reservations should be reserved in this bill?
Senator ANDERSON. In the case of Mount McKinley, I would not want to pass any final judgment on it, but my opinion is that what
they did was to spot on a map where Mount McKinley was and took in everything they could take in over to the railroad, without regard to its particular scenic values. The result is that you ride for miles and miles and miles when you get off the railroad in a national park that is absolutely no different from just ordinary country. It has no scenic values whatsoever for miles. Then you finally get in the neighborhood of Mount McKinley. If when you get there you are unfortunate, as some of us were, and it is a foggy day, you cannot see it under any circumstances.
Senator CORDON (presiding). Senator, you held hearings before on Alaska, did you not?
Senator ANDERSON. Yes.
Senator CORDON. I am asking you because I do not want to turn through every page of those hearings, and I would like to get a little information on them.
Was there any information given of specific character as to precisely what lands would be of most value to the new State and where?
Senator ANDERSON. I am answering from memory now.
Senator ANDERSON. My remembrance is that Governor Gruening first started with about 200,000 acres of forest lands that surrounded some of the cities. There is no question but that we ought to give these communities a chance to expand. In the bill which I presented to you that is increased to 400,000 acres. The Forest Service again will say we have to have every tree right where it is, but it is absolutely ridiculous. We ought to give every one of these areas to the State and give them a chance to expand like an ordinary municipality expands.
Senator Jackson. Would the Senator yield at that point? Would it not be proper to say that maybe a part of the Tongass National Forest be turned over to the Territory?' We ought to have the Forest Service up here to ascertain their views.
To pursue the answer to Senator Cordon's question, I think in some of that area in southeastern Alaska where we have the bulk of the timber of the Territory of Alaska some consideration should be given to making available to the new State a portion—I am not saying that we should destroy the Tongass National Forest and turn it over to the State, but I think a portion of it should be available in the same manner that the Federal Government made available timberlands in Oregon and Washington for school purposes.
I may say that several billion feet of timber were made available to the States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and all that timber area of the Northwest when they came into the Union. I do think that in considering this land problem it must be recognized that the bulk of that timber is in southeastern Alaska, the narrowest part, territorialwise, of the entire Territory. I think a portion of that land should be turned over with the timber, and I think that the real problem is to determine your agricultural land, which is to the north of that area, to determine whether there are specific blocks that could and should be made available.
Senator CORDON. What information is there with reference to that, as to where there is agricultural land precisely, so that this committee can say that at least a certain drainage area or an area between
certain ranges should be made available, or can otherwise define an área and know that when we get the definition there we have gotten the land that will do those people the most good!
Senator ANDERSON. Let me say that I have steadily felt that there ought to be some sort of "show cause" order issued so they would have to show why they set these places aside as reservations and why they had reserved them. I do not know how feasible that is. Let me just refer to what I did a moment ago.
Senator Cordon. It would be difficult, I suggest to the Senator, to issue a show-cause order when those who made the withdrawals are not available.
Senator ANDERSON. Yes; let me say that Secretary McKay has taken what I think is a very sensible step and a fine step in this whole matter. He has appointed a committee to study Federal withdrawals in Alaska, to try to indicate what should have been done. I think that that committee is in position to give us a lot of information in the beginning.
Secondly, I referred a minute ago to the Katmai National Monument. The Katmai National Monument was set up because of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, but instead of being confined to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, as soon as they found some one thing they just spread it across the landscape.
Now the 10,000 smokes have largely disappeared, and the cause for the monument is gone, but the desire to hold on to it remains.
The same thing, I think, is true with reference to the reservation for moose, the reservation for jackrabbits, the reservation for the various other things that they have set up there.
Senator CORDON. You do not mean there is a reservation for jackrabbits?
Senator ANDERSON. I mean exactly that. : Anybody who wanted to stake some land in Alaska where it could not be used by the people of Alaska said, “Let's make it into a reservation for jackrabbits, or moose, or this kind of bear, or caribou, or something else. Wherever you saw it, don't let the people rush in and use it; make a reservation of it." That was the theory, and it was done.
Senator CORDON. That was paternalism when it reached its peak.
Senator ANDERSON. That being true, I am merely trying to say I think Senator Barrett's point was well made that a lot of the best land has been taken and moved away from it, and I think in this bill we ought at least, with the best advice we have from the Interior Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service, reduce sharply these areas. If we do that, we will do some good.
As to the grants to the communities, I am in favor of a large grant of land right into these forests so that these towns may grow. They are growing, and they should continue to grow, and they will grow if you give them a chance.
Senator CORDON. You are speaking there, Senator, of what would be the equivalent of a suburban area to towns?
Senator ANDERSON. That is right.
Senator CORDON. The thought there would be to clean the forests off and make it available as land for the use of people in building their homes, or things of that sort?
Senator ANDERSON. Yės; but the forest in these areas is not so dense as forests in the Northwest would be.