WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today applauded the unanimous passage in the Senate of the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act, a bill championed by Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. The bill was one of apackage of 16 public lands bills approved Wednesday by the Senate.
“Today’s passage of the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act completes the legislative process we started over three years ago when I first introduced a version of this bill in the Senate,” Murkowski said. “We have been close to getting this bill across the finish line before only to see it die on the Senate floor calendar. Today, we’re finally getting it done. I want to thank my Senate colleagues for unanimously agreeing that this is an important step for upholding the traditional way of life for Alaska Natives.”
The legislation allows the Huna Tlingit of Southeast, Alaska, to carry out their traditional subsistence gull egg harvest in Glacier Bay National Park. Collection of the gull eggs was prohibited in the 1960s by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and National Park Service Regulations. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Southeast Alaska is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit, who traditionally have harvested gull eggs at rookeries from the cliffs of Glacier Bay both prior to and following the establishment of the park.
“This is a no-cost piece of legislation that will allow the Alaska Native residents of Hoonah to partake in the same subsistence activities their ancestors did, and to continue to pass those traditions down to the young people of their community,” Murkowski said. “I look forward to the President signing the bill into law and helping to preserve the cultural identity of the Huna Tlingit people.”
Murkowski is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.