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8 Best Western Kodiak Inn
9 Kodiak, Alaska
10 September 25, 2013
11 8:20 a.m.

full transcript available here, http://www.doi.gov/subsistence/library/transcripts/upload/Region-3-25-Sep-13.pdf or locally here,

6 CHAIRMAN SIMEONOFF: Okay. Thank you,
7 Carl. 41
10 Okay. Before we start then I’d like to
11 remind the people in the audience if they’d like to
12 make testimony there’s some papers in the back you can
13 fill out and get them up here, and we’ll call them out
14 as they appear. 47
48 The first one we have is Pamela Bumsted.
DR. BUMSTED: Good morning. My name is
2 Pamela Busted, and I work for Sun’aq tribe of Kodiak as
3 the tribal scientist. And I’m here to present some of
4 the studies that we’ve done on this issue, and I’m not
5 testifying for the tribe itself. We will have written
6 comments submitted before the deadline.
8 And I do want to thank you for looking
9 into this. I know it’s been a very difficult process
10 since 1982 I believe, and certainly since 1990 when the
11 Federal take over was. And it has been a major
12 question as to what should be done, how do we recognize
13 people are eligible to use their local resources.
15 A lot of the existing criteria which
16 you’ve seen on the screen, and which has been in the
17 record before actually has come from the State. And
18 you’ve heard the 2500 population figure. That’s from
19 the 1910 census. And the U.S. Census still uses that
20 as a minimum, but they do not define non-rural areas by
21 that. According to the U.S. Census, using geography
22 and not subjective criteria of what do rural people do
23 is — there are only two urbanized areas in Alaska.,
24 and that’s Fairbanks and Anchorage. And they do
25 recognize, and this is something I would recommend, is
26 that you consider a geographic definition of rural.
27 This has had a lot of study. It just went out for a
28 review to the public. The Health and Human Services,
29 which does a lot of our frontier medicine, such as the
30 health clinics, the hospitals for most of the state,
31 use this criteria, as well as the Department of
32 Agriculture.
34 And basically it’s — if you think of
35 it, you’re flying on an airplane, and you can look down
36 and you can see lots and lots of water, lots and lots
37 of snow and ice. And then if you’re leaving from
38 Anchorage, you can see how the lights and other things
39 are clustered. As you go away from there, they get
40 thinner and thinner until you’re back to mountains,
41 trees, snow and ice and water.
43 And so it’s something — it’s a
44 reliable classification. It’s backed up with some good
45 study. It’s one that isn’t subjective. And it’s one
46 that would be really easy to implement, because
47 somebody else has the specialists that have been
48 looking at this for a long time. And they’re in
49 tables. You can go now to Health and Human Services
50 and go to a website and type in the — and click on a
1 button with the question of am I eligible for rural
2 grants, frontier grants. And it will name your city.
3 You can do the same from the Agriculture page or the
4 census page, is to find out am I rural.
6 And keep in mind that especially in the
7 west and more particularly in Alaska, rural has a lot
8 of variability. And the two most important
9 classifications beyond rural, that is the rural of the
10 rural, are things called remote and frontier. And
11 within that is a classification of island. And they
12 don’t count islands as people connected by a 100-foot
13 bridge. Islands are surrounded by water, and in our
14 case they’re at least 100 and — well, we’re 400 miles
15 from the main — from the nearest urbanized area. So
16 it’s well over an hour to travel no matter how you do
17 it.
19 So those have distinct qualities that
20 are standard and people recognize. And also the
21 frontier aspects, that you have lots and lots of space,
22 you have very few people living in a tight area. Even
23 Kodiak, the city, is remote.
25 I think those are going to be easier to
26 use instead of most of the criteria which are currently
27 being used.
29 And I wanted to give you another — oh,
30 the other advantage of using something like remote,
31 these are the geographic — they’re land use patterns,
32 which fits in with the land management and what the
33 Feds have to deal with on the ANILCA lands.
34 Subsistence is not a priority in ANILCA. It’s a
35 priority for consumption of resources. So having a
36 land use category or classification would I think fit
37 in much better and make them more comfortable using it,
38 because it’s something similar to what they’re familiar
39 with.
41 I did just trying to get my own back —
42 an understanding of the history of ANILCA, I mean, I’m
43 more used to subsistence as a user, and I spent eight
44 years in Bethel, and then worked north of the Alaska
45 Range in rural Alaska. So I’m coming from the bottom
46 up, so I needed to go back in and read all that old
47 stuff. And it was quite interesting. I went to Title
48 VIII and looked there, and the word census doesn’t
49 occur. Decade is[n’t] in Title VIII. Urban doesn’t occur.
50 Ten doesn’t occur. Non-rural isn’t there.
1 Determination is not there. And neither is community
2 or communities. Individual occurs twice. Residents or
3 resident occurs 28 times.
5 And I think it’s important to note that
6 the purpose of Title VIII in ANILCA and the Katie John
7 decision are for the Federal government to support
8 rural residents. And I think that’s key. It was key
9 when the Secretaries issued this review. The entire
10 process. And earlier it was to get actual rural
11 residents and users on the Board. And now we’re
12 looking at this final component.
14 And in all cases, the emphasis has been
15 to provide the opportunity for rural residents engaged
16 in a subsistence way of life to do so. And rural
17 residents who have personal knowledge of local
18 conditions and requirements. It’s not required that
19 people actually use these resources. It is required
20 that they have access to them. And what that means is
21 if you’re limiting rural residents from access to their
22 food, they should not have to eat so many calories, or
23 so many percentage, or whatever kinds of food that
24 somebody else decides. They have the right to access
25 those lands and waters. And that’s what I think we’re
26 dealing with. And that should be emphasized. It
27 doesn’t have to do with how much food or what kind.
29 As far as things such as determination,
30 as I mentioned, it’s not in ANILCA. It is in the regs,
31 but the regs, of course, were developed basically
32 carried over from the State in many cases. I would
33 suggest that you just strike any determination, that
34 the Board I think should review if an area or community
35 in Alaska is now urban. And review is very much
36 different from determine. And you heard last night
37 about what happened in 2006 when the issue of
38 determination had arisen. And essentially actually it
39 was the Board at that point had determined that Kodiak
40 was non-rural, and it then went out for public comment,
41 which is part of this improved process the Secretaries
42 wish to have now is that you involve the communities.
43 And today this is — I mean, this is a result of that
44 emphasis.
46 I would suggest also that you have the
47 Board look at the geographic definitions of rural, much
48 more consistent, and it’s fairly easy to look up that
49 data every 10 years for review using the census. And
50 again it’s the U.S. Census is very concrete on how they
1 define urban or urbanized areas.
3 If there’s been a change of more than
4 25 percent, then that could be something the Board
5 could look further into. And to give you an idea, in
6 19 — there has been only an increase in Kodiak City
7 population of four percent since 1990 compared to the
8 state increase in population of 29 percent. So there’s
9 been no change basically since 1990, which is when the
10 Federal Subsistence Board came into effect.
12 And I guess those are my major
13 concerns, and as I mentioned, these are things that
14 will be able to provide you, and I can do that fairly
15 quickly, of providing at least a set of considerations.
17 I think it’s very important to keep
18 this in mind, and then also to keep in what is the
19 purpose of the Board and what is the purpose of Title
20 VIII. And it seems to me it would just make it much
21 easier than all of the — what’s in the regulation now,
22 and you could come down to almost two sentences instead
23 of the ones that we have here.
25 Thank you.
27 CHAIRMAN SIMEONOFF: Thank you, Pam.
29 Pat, you have a question.
31 MR. HOLMES: Dr. Bumsted, I wonder if
32 you could give the Council some guidance. You
33 mentioned rural, frontier and island. And which of
34 those is considered to be the most rural or the removed
35 from urban areas?
37 DR. BUMSTED: You could say all rural
38 as the census defines — or the census only defines
39 urbanized areas. Within that, you have rural areas.
40 However, they have recognized in the past, this is
41 U.S.D.A., has recognized in the past that there’s a
42 whole spectrum of rural. And this is not to use a
43 dictionary definition, and not to use the Encyclopedia
44 Britannica which is what they used in 1990. But you
45 have a whole range of how people settle, especially in
46 the west and especially in Alaska. So within rural,
47 you have people who are remote. And these are people
48 are more than an hour from an urbanized area. And
49 islands by definition are more than an hour from an
50 urbanized area. These are people who have, you know,
1 maybe — well, where I lived for so long, we had half a
2 person per square mile. Rural is talking about
3 hundreds or 1,000 people per square mile, but within
4 that is this very far remote area. And islands are a
5 special subset of remote.
7 Now, these have just been reviewed.
8 They were submitted for review, comments closed in
9 January, and I haven’t seen the final rules. But they
10 do lay out some of the specifics, and if you wish I can
11 provide some of those.
13 There’s also a review of this that has
14 come up with, you know, the fact — they looked into
15 this using geography, because so many programs have
16 their own policies and their own definitions. And it
17 just — what they’re looking for is something that
18 would be independent of specific program biases. So
19 you don’t want to have the military saying, well, you
20 know, if you don’t have a PX, that makes you rural.
21 You want something that’s consistent across — that
22 most people can repeat. I mean, they can follow along
23 with the criteria, and come to the same conclusions.
25 MR. HOLMES: I guess what I was fishing
26 for, and I think you answered this I mean, was what
27 phrase or terminology if we were to ask the Federal
28 Board to look at the U.S.D.A. definitions, and I’m
29 assuming that if we said, you know, look at geography
30 and consider their definition of an island, that that
31 would perhaps solidify the thing the best for Kodiak
32 for, you know, what we’re trying to achieve. Is that a
33 fair statement?
35 DR. BUMSTED: I think it would be
36 stronger if you mention having a geographic taxonomy,
37 and that it should be — there are characteristics like
38 I mentioned, you know, should be replicable. And the
39 suggested on is frontier and remote. And that’s what
40 it’s called. It’s called FAR. It’s been used by the
41 Health and Human Services for at least 15 years, and it
42 has just completed its public review in January. So
43 it’s call frontier and remote, geographic taxonomies.
45 MR. HOLMES: Thank you.
47 CHAIRMAN SIMEONOFF: Okay. Any other
48 questions for Pam.
50 (No comments)
3 The next person we have is Brenda
4 Schwantes.
6 MS. SCHWANTES: Good morning. It was a
7 long night, wasn’t it. I’m not going to just repeat
8 the same information that I shared last night, but I am
9 going to try and — first of all, Carl — I know, I cut
10 myself off there.
12 I liked the summation that he put
13 together. It kind of hits all those bullet points.
14 It’s going to be really important in coming up with a
15 position as a RAC, as a group.
17 And I also would like to again
18 emphasize, as Pam did, and here’s my statement to the
19 RAC, you can put it in your records, but I think it’s
20 not just Kodiak. It’s all of the islands in Alaska.
21 And if you do the research and look at the islands and
22 the geography of the islands and the remoteness of all
23 of those islands, there’s really only one — well,
24 right now the issue with Ketchikan and Gravina and the
25 aggregation there, and Juneau, those would be the two
26 that might be a question, if you were to approach your
27 position as a geographical consideration, because they
28 are part of an archipelago and they’re islands. So
29 there might be a question, you might need to have a
30 loophole in your strategy position for the Feds to
31 redefine or have an exception to your strategy.
33 But it sounds — overall the population
34 issue, I’m just going to encourage the RAC to come up
35 with a strong position, and that is to do away with the
36 population issue, or at least have two tiers of
37 qualifications for being remote. I think the RAC
38 should challenge the rural word in the court cases in
39 your position statement and ask that it be looked at,
40 because rural in the court decisions could also mean
41 remote. There’s lots of interpretations for that. We
42 can interpret it our own way, because Alaska is a
43 noncontiguous state. People don’t ship here. It takes
44 forever to get here. It takes a day and a half to get
45 to D.C. You heard it all last night.
47 I guess I’m just going to encourage the
48 RAC to take a strong position on requesting that the
49 population criteria be not a primary consideration, and
50 that the geographical component, and the rural
1 characteristics of the islands and archipelagoes could
2 be a primary consideration in determining remoteness.
3 and then after that maybe a population level for some
4 of the urbanized areas.
6 So it’s going to be important to
7 develop a really strong approach to present to the
8 Federal Subsistence Board, and for the RAC to
9 understand the opinion and that approach and be able to
10 justify it. And hopefully with other comments that
11 some of the public — that the public presented last
12 night, that will kind of help your in your formation of
13 your position to the Council.
15 And I’ll just go ahead and submit this
16 as I did last night, although it’s addressed to you.
17 Basically it says population should not be a major
18 factor, blah-blah-blah, and that the islands and
19 archipelago communities should be exempt, because of
20 their geographical considerations.
22 Thank you.
24 CHAIRMAN SIMEONOFF: Thank you, Brenda.
25 Questions.
27 (No comments)
30 have Iver Malutin.
32 MR. MALUTIN: You guys are too serious.
33 I’ve got to make you laugh, and I’m going to.
35 And we’re all here for only one reason.
36 Excuse me? Got it. When you get to be 82, you’ll
37 forget.
39 (Laughter)
41 MR. MALUTIN: Anyway, I’m going to
42 quote what Harvey Samuelsen said. And Harvey was
43 really a really renowned leader from Dillingham. And
44 when I was talking to one day, he said, Iver, and these
45 are his words, God damn it, we’ve been living here for
46 thousands of years, thousands of years, and we owned
47 all the land and all the resources. Today we’re
48 fighting like hell to get a little piece back.
50 And if you think about what that lady
1 from Sun’aq said yesterday, or wherever she was from, I
2 was thinking about Harvey; that’s why I wrote this
3 down. And that’s why we’re here. And we are really,
4 really on the right track this year, and I really
5 applaud all of you, and I’m glad you’re here. It takes
6 a lot of time and effort for you guys to be here.
8 But before I go any further, I’m going
9 to tell you who I am, and I never it, because my mom
10 says it’s not good to talk about I, but here I think
11 I’d better. This is all my research by University of
12 Alaska. My family came with Baranof in 1794 to Kodiak,
13 and I’m still here, so this is my town. And also it
14 said on the Laktonin (ph) side, Laktonin is the first
15 Kanainaq (ph) or CEO for the Russian American Company
16 off the Komandorski Islands at Kamchatka when they
17 started the Russian American Company sea otter hunting.
18 They hired 18 people, they fired them, they couldn’t
19 get the sea otter. And according to Dr. Linda Breck on
20 her information that she sent me, I’ve got it all at
21 home in letters, the Natives put kayaks all around the
22 sea otter. And all they did was hit the water with
23 their paddle, and the sea otter would dive, they’d come
24 up. They’d keep doing that. Pretty soon the sea otter
25 couldn’t dive any more, and all the Natives had to do
26 was club them. They never used one shell to harvest
27 the sea otter, according to the University of Alaska
28 Fairbanks.
30 So anyway that was my great grandpa,
31 Jacob Laktonin. So that’s who I am.
33 So now, and I was on the port and
34 harbor board for 25 years for the City of Kodiak. I
35 was the chairman for 20 years. And on the Commission
36 on Aging for eight years. On the Prince William Sound
37 Council for seven years. On the advisory board to the
38 ANMC hospital, so on.
40 And I really, really thank every single
41 one of you for all the time that you’re putting into
42 this, because it does take time. You couldn’t be here
43 if you didn’t do your research. And to do research
44 takes time. And all that time is just donated by you
45 guys; you’re not getting paid. But you are getting
46 paid by us by thanking you, and we really appreciate
47 every single one of you here.
49 Okay. Now, we’re talking about making
50 a place, a physical place urban or rural. Does that
1 physical place eat fish? I don’t think so. I think
2 it’s the people that live in every single area that
3 should be able to get their resources regardless of
4 where they live. They’re the ones that are really —
5 the ones that are depending on it, and I’m not talking
6 about only Native people. I’m talking about everybody
7 that subsists, and I’m using your words, the
8 traditional way should have access to the food. And at
9 the expense of commercial fishing.
11 I feel sorry for the Fish and Game
12 guys. They have to make an estimate, high and low
13 range, every single year,
14 based on what they predict. And look at the Kuskokwim
15 this year. Now those guys have got to really, really
16 struggle to try to make ends meet up there. Imagine
17 taking the food away from the people, because of the
18 dollar and the commercial fisherman. That’s what it’s
19 all about.
21 But think about making an area urban or
22 rural only has to affect the people before that made
23 these laws that didn’t know what they were talking
24 about. And a lot of the information that we have today
25 from our advisory board doesn’t fit, and some of them
26 didn’t know what they were talking about.
28 How many people here have been to
29 Saxman? Two. Okay. That’s what I’m saying. If you
30 have to make a decision on Saxman, not being there, I
31 was there, and I think Saxman by all means all them
32 people should have their food.
34 But anyway, that’s what’s happening
35 today. And I just wish that we could somehow — maybe
36 even have a limited entry. I don’t care. Make people
37 qualify for what they’re getting, because the number of
38 people are going to kill us, and they’re killing us.
39 That’s not my suggestion, but I just said it, because I
40 stayed awake last night thinking.
42 Okay. I talked about the Federal
43 grants. I talked about your acreage. The villages,
44 the towns, the cities.
46 You know, that’s really all I have to
47 say, but I really thank every single one of you for
48 being here, because hopefully we’ll be able to get our
49 way, and I just hope that they never ever take the
50 traditional foods away from any Native people any
1 place.
3 Oh, yes, I was on the RuralCAP Halibut
4 Board. And we could ship halibut. Halibut is Federal,
5 and we could ship halibut any place in Alaska to the
6 people wherever they were. And we can’t do that with
7 migratory birds. And that’s wrong. I think that we
8 should be able to ship anything that are traditional
9 foods was or is or are, and be able to get it to every
10 single person no matter where they are in Alaska. They
11 might be in the hospital, or whoever. There’s all
12 kinds of needs and they just can’t get it. So just a
13 suggestion.
Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SIMEONOFF: That’s all right.
42 We’ve got Melissa Borton next then.
44 MR. MALUTIN: Thank you.
46 MS. BORTON: I promise I won’t go
47 twice.
49 (Laughter)
1 MS. BORTON: Good morning, everybody.
2 My name is Melissa Borton. I’m the tribal
3 administrator for the Native Village of Afognak, and I
4 am here representing my tribe.
6 I appreciate the opportunity to address
7 you guys, and I think that your comments and
8 recommendations that you’ll be making to the Federal
9 Subsistence Board are highly weighted, and we certainly
10 appreciate the opportunity to tell you how we feel.
12 For those of you that were here last
13 night, I think you heard overwhelmingly how important
14 subsistence is to Kodiak.
16 I’m a lifelong resident. My husband
17 was born and raised here. We’re both Natives, and we
18 raise our children our traditional way of lifestyle,
19 and we subsist. We heavily subsist. It’s important to
20 us.
22 The issues that I have with the current
23 criteria that the Federal Subsistence Board uses is no
24 different than what you heard from Brenda and Pam. I
25 think the population threshold is way too low. I don’t
26 have a good suggestion, because I don’t think Kodiak
27 should be weighted simply because of population. Our
28 geographic remoteness should be the primary factor.
29 It’s expensive to live here, but that certainly doesn’t
30 keep us away. I’m not going to move to the mainland
31 just because it’s expensive to live here. I live here
32 because I love Kodiak. I love the community. The
33 sharing that we do amongst ourselves is extremely
34 important to me and to my family and to my friends, and
35 my extended family. My husband and I have both sets of
36 grandparents that live here, and they can’t go out and
37 fish for themselves, so we provide for them. And it’s
38 important to us.
40 I also think that if the Federal
41 Subsistence Board is looking for criteria to determine
42 rural versus non-rural, I would suggest looking at the
43 12 State criteria. What I like about the — I can’t
44 say they’re all perfect, but what I like about the 12
45 criteria is it doesn’t look only at demographics. It
46 does look at actual characteristics. It looks at the
47 extend and use of sharing. It looks at the diversity
48 of the resources, so it gives you a bigger picture I
49 guess of how to determine a community.
1 And then again with the timelines, I
2 don’t think 10 years is adequate. I think 10 years is
3 too short of a timeframe to put a community through
4 turmoil. I think once rural, you’re rural unless
5 there’s a significant change that tells you otherwise.
7 So I appreciate the opportunity, and I
8 know you’ll be hearing much of the same from the people
9 following me.
11 Thank you.
14 Melissa.
16 Does anyone have questions.
18 (No comments)
21 last, but not least, we have Nancy Nelson.
23 MS. NELSON: Good morning. I’m Nancy
24 Nelson. I sit on the Port Lions Tribal Council;
25 however, I’m here on behalf of myself. And I also work
26 for the Native Village of Afognak.
28 I listened to all the testimony last
29 night, and I agree with everything.
31 I am originally from Afognak and Port
32 Lions; however, I live in Kodiak because of the
33 economy. And many of my people from Port Lions have
34 moved away just for that reason. There is just — you
35 need to work. But I own a home in Port Lions. I go
36 back. Many of my family does. My friends, they all
37 return to that village and they do their subsistence.
38 And if this was — if this was to change, we would not
39 be allowed to do that without breaking the law.
41 And I listened and I agree with all the
42 testimony of what everyone says. But that part was
43 missing, of all the people that had to leave these
44 rural communities for economic reasons, and if they
45 can’t return, and if they do return, they can’t subsist
46 in their own village, I think that would be pretty
47 devastating to us all that had to leave. So I would
48 like for you to think of that when you make your
49 decision.
1 And I also spends weeks outside of
2 Afognak, and we teach our youth our traditional way of
3 life and we subsist. We teach them just to take what
4 they need and not to over-harvest anything. And would
5 we not be allowed to do that?
7 And those are my concerns. Thank you.
9 CHAIRMAN SIMEONOFF: Thank you, Nancy.
11 Peter.
13 MR. SQUARTSOFF: Yeah. Mr. Chair.
14 Nancy’s part about going back to Port Lions to harvest
15 subsistence, Port Lions is under State regulations, and
16 I think what she’s referring to. This is the Federal.
18 But anyway I agree with all the
19 testimony so far, but that’s why I wanted to ask so
20 people can be explained what the differences between
21 State and Federal and where State and Federal waters
22 are. She might not be able to go to Litnik, but she
23 still can go to Port Lions, because Port Lions is under
24 State.
26 MS. NELSON: I’d like to ask you a
27 question then.
29 REPORTER: You’ll have to come up to
30 the microphone, please.
32 MS. NELSON: Okay. But we all know
33 when one changes or something, the other one follows.
34 We have seen a pattern of that. You know, we still
35 could stand that risk of not being able to do that.
36 And that is a concern. When one thing starts changing,
37 it seems like there’s a pattern amongst the government
38 that keeps on changing and making it harder for us to
39 be able to live our traditional way of life.
41 CHAIRMAN SIMEONOFF: Thank you for
42 that.
44 That completes the testimony papers I
45 have here, if there’s anyone else that would like to
46 make testimony that haven’t filled out a paper, and you
47 have a burning desire to testify on behalf of Kodiak,
48 then now is your chance.
50 (No comments)