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make specific recommendations for a special Alaska formula to the appropriate
While we do not know whether or not this matter comes within the purview of this committee, we wish to bring to your attention the fact that Alaska is grossly discriminated against in the application of transcontinental freight rates. Under provisions of rules and regulations set by the Interstate Commerce Commission, commodities originating east of the Continental Divide destined to go beyond Pacific coast ports bear a special through rate. This special rate concession which has been granted foreign shippers both to and from the United States is denied the Territory of Alaska.
Alaska shippers receiving goods originating east of the Continental Divide pay separate tariffs to the railroads and the steamship companies and are not granted the benefit of through rates. This matter comes before the Interstate Commerce Commission on November 3, and it is our hope that members of this committee will assist us in anyway possible with the ICC so that Alaska may enjoy the benefits of import and export tariffs. (d) Access to States via Canada
Senator Magnuson has introduced a bill which sets up a special commission to make a study of the feasibiilty of establishing rail and highway links between the coastal regions of British Columbia, the Yukon Territory, and Alaska. We believe that such a study would work to the benefit of both our Canadian friends and the Territory and we therefore urge your support of this legislation.
Considerable speculation and concerted drives have been made for the establishment of highways which would permit Canadian access to the sea on our Alaska coast and equal emphasis has been placed by Alaskans on the desirability of some road outlet in southeastern Alaska to the existing highways on the Canadian side.
Much attention has been focused on the desirability of a road from Juneau up the Taku River which would connect with existing Canadian highways, but the unfortunate fact is that most of this attention has come from the American side. Our Canadian friends have not been very definite in their assurances to us that they would be willing to construct roads which would connect with the roads which Alaskans hope will eventually be constructed. We have a fine example of the situation in the case of the Haines Cutoff. This road was built by American funds and provides access to Canada from Haines to Whitehorse, but unfortunately the Canadians have been unwilling to maintain this road in the wintertime and have apparently been reluctant to permit the Americans to maintain that section of the road which lies in Canada.
Therefore, one of the existing roads to the sea which should be available to both the Canadians and Americans has been shut off because of the failure of the Canadians to keep it open in the winter. Perhaps a commission such as proposed in Senator Magnuson's bill would provide a forum through which this problem could be solved.
IV. HYDROELECTRIC POWER One of Alaska's greatest untapped resources is its hydroelectric power which could turn the wheels of power-hungry industry. The Yukon River, the Copper River, and the Susitna River have a combined capacity of more than 212 million kilowatts of firm power annually. This tremendous potential remains unused.
The hydroelectric potential of the Yukon River at Rampart is sufficiently large so that all of the energy requirements of the rail-belt area could be met for the next 50 years. New industries could be developed in connection with coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric power which would revolutionize the economy of that entire area. The unfortunate thing about this tremendous potential is that the Territory has none of the basic engineering data which would be necessary before such an enterprise could even be intelligently considered.
Various Government agencies in the United States have maintained gaging stations and have hydrologic data on all of the major streams of the United States, but on Alaska's principal rivers we have little or no information. This information cannot be acquired in a short time and the hard facts of engineering demand that streamflow and runoff data be gathered for a period from 7 to 10 years before a major hydroelectric development can be planned.
Members of Congress in enacting a law establishing the Bureau of Reclamation on a permanent basis in Alaska have at least taken the first essential step which could lead to the development of such studies. Both the Bureau of Reclamation and the Water Resources Division of the Geological Survey should be provided with adequate funds so that they might make studies of the Yukon River, the Copper River, the Susitna River, and various attractive sites on the Kenai Peninsula.
At one time, Harvey Aluminum Co. was interested in developing a hydroelectric installation on the Copper River but was immediately faced with the fact that few water records were available. A similar situation exists on the Susitna and little information is available on the more promising hydroelectric sites on the Kenai Peninsula. This is in sharp contrast to the picture in southeastern Alaska where reasonably complete records have been kept on the major streams in the area. Congress should certainly take steps to provide appropriate agencies with sufficient funds to carry out these engineering studies.
Congress should also be permitted to supply the money necesary to construct hydroelectric facilities which could be used by industry. The moneys involved in financing such construction would all be returned to the taxpayers through direct return of the capital required without giving any consideration to the new industries which would be developed in the Territory.
The potential of the Rampart site itself, which is probably one of the greatest hydroelectric sites on the continent, is in jeopardy because of the plans of Canadian entrepreneurs to utilize the headwaters of the Yukon by establishment of a Canadian enterprise at the headwaters of the Taku River. In negotiating with Canada, the United States is in the precarious position of not being able to supply engineering data which would accurately reflect what the proposed Yukon diversion at Taku might do to the Rampart installation. It, therefore, becomes imperative for the United States to secure accurate engineering data on the Yukon so that our Government can effectively bargain with the Government of Canada to prevent severe losses to the downstream owner, which in this case is the Territory of Alaska.
In addition to the Rampart site on the Yukon, it would also be possible to dam the Yukon near Whitehorse, reverse its flow through Lake Bennett and Lake Lindeman into Taiya Valley. This diversion of the Yukon could furnish a million kilowatts of power at a cost of less than 3 mills. One of the major aluminum companies of the United States has expressed its willingness to construct the necessary facilities in the Yukon Territory and the Taiya Valley. It should also be pointed out that the Taiya diversion would have a similar effect on the Rampart site. Unfortunately, there exists a conflict of interests between the people of Canada and the people of Alaska. The Canadians have to date steadfastly maintained that they will not permit the utilization of the headwaters of the Yukon in the Territory of Alaska. On the other hand, we are convinced that the establishment of their proposed enterprise at the headwaters of the Taku River is not a unilateral matter--that they must give consideration to the rights of the downstream owners and that they will also need permission from the Government of the United States to secure access to their Taku development.
The payrolls that such new industries would generate would be located in the Territory of Alaska and the effects of such enterprises would be direct and not secondary as in the case of the Taku development. At the same time, if the Taiya project were to be constructed, power would be available to the Canadians at a place where power is needed. In a game where the stakes are so gigantic, it appears to us that the Government of the United States must immediately get on the ball and get the kind of information on the Yukon River that is needed so that the best interests of the people of the United States and Alaska can be protected. It is unmistakably and clearly to the advantage of the United States and Alaska to promote the Taiya or Rampart sites.
(a) Territorial control of fisheries
Since the early 1900's the fishery resources, particularly the salmon fishery; have been one of the bulwarks of the economy of Alaska. The management of this fishery has probably been one of the most controversial in the Territory of Alaska. Regardless of controversies that exist, the Territory's salmon fishery in peak years has been able to provide summer employment for about 25,000
workers and the gross value of its product has been as high as $100 million per year.
During the past several years the salmon industry has had a series of disasters which have just about cut total production in half and this cut has resulted in a sharp employment decline. The management of the commercial fisheries in those States which have commercial fisheries is delegated to the State. In the Territory of Alaska the management of the Territory's fisheries has been vested in the Department of the Interior under the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Without casting aspersions on any particular agency the hard, cruel fact remains that Alaska salmon runs have been failures and the people of Alaska, who have very definite ideas about the management of their fisheries, have been able to do nothing about this failure. To us it appears just and logical that management and control of the Territory's fish and game resources should be placed in the hands of the Territory.
In order to bring about this change without placing undue hardships upon the finances of the Territory, revenues from the fur-seal tisheries which now go to the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Treasury of the United States should be turned over to the Territory of Alaska so that these moneys could be used to finance the management of Alaska fisheries by Alaskans.
At the present time the Pribilof fur-seal herds are of little direct value to the Territory of Alaska. The Territory receives none of the revenues from this resource--all of it going either to the Fish and Wildlife Service or to the Treasury of the United States.
Again, it appears to us that the very minimum Congress could do would be to allocate that portion of the revenue which now goes into the Treasury of the United States to the Territory of Alaska so that it could at least increase the scope of its fisheries program. (b) Continued funds for North Pacific research
With diminishing salmon runs, the attention of the entire country has focused on the North Pacific Treaty between Japan, Canada, and the United States whose purpose is to regulate the taking of fish in the North Pacific.
The fishing activities of the parties to this treaty, with particular reference to the Japanese, is apparently having a far-rearching effect on the Alaska fisheries. The questions involved are international, as well as biological, and involve a gigantic fisheries research problem. We urge the members of this committee to continue to make adequate funds available so that the North Pacific fisheries studies can be continued and accelerated.
While the Alaska crab industry has not yet been faced with the international problems confronting the salmon industry, we can readily see the day when the same question will arise concerning the crab industry in Bristol Bay. It appears to us that Congress should make additional moneys available immediately so that an active crab-research program can be conducted. Then the people of the United States will have the kind of information needed in order to solve potential problems which are apt to arise out of Japanese crab vessels fishing in the Bering Sea.
VI. RIVERS AND HARBORS
While the matter of rivers and harbors does not come within the direct scrutiny of this committee, we feel compelled to request your good offices in securing assistance for the 13 projects which have been approved by both Congress and the Corps of Engineers in Alaska.
We want to emphasize that these Alaska projects differ from many projects on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States in that they are what we call bread and butter projects. These are not yacht basins and moorings for pleasure craft--they are projects that will provide safety and shelter for Alaska's fishing fleet.
You now know a substantial portion of Alaska's population earns its livelihood from the sea, and the establishment of adequate ports and docking facilities is essential to those who earn their living in this manner. Congress did appropriate needed moneys this year, for the first time in many, for Petersburg Harbor, Wrangell Harbor, and Metlakatla Harbor. These appropriations were above and beyond requests of the Bureau of the Budget. Believe me, the residents of these three communities sincerely appreciate the consideration that was given to their needs.
There are other communities in Alaska which need harbor improvements just as much. Without going into detailed explanations of the various projects, we should like to call the committee's attention to the needs of Kodiak, Ketchikan, Sitka, Seward, Juneau, the Gastineau Channel, and many others which are equally important.
Again, we should like to emphasize that these are bread-and-butter projects projects which will enable Alaskans to have a safe refuge for their boats and which will enable them to better support themselves from the sea.
Alaska's national forests, the Chugach and Tongass, have been in competent management throughout the history of the Terirtory and we have no major suggestions to offer regarding the management of Alaska's forests. Generally speaking, as land from the national forests has been required for various purposes the Forest Service has taken the initiative in not only releasing those lands for other purposes but also in providing roads so that they could be used.
We do feel, however, that the Territory's share of Tongass timber receipts, which amounted to 25 percent of $1,969,147.79, should be turned over to Alaska. Under provisions of the Tongass Timber Act, forest receipts from the sale of timber in the Tongass National Forest have been impounded pending the settlement of alleged possessory claims by native inhabitants of southeastern Alaska. We feel that the Territory's share of these funds should be turned over to Alaska as if no impoundment existed.
If the possessory claims of Alaska's natives are valid, these claims should be reimbursed by the Government of the United States, and there is no logical reason why either the Territory or the Federal Government, for that matter, should impound funds for obligations which it may be required to meet. Most of the issues involved have already been clearly settled by the Supreme Court of the United States so that the reasons for impounding these funds are no longer valid.
VIII. ALASKA PUBLIC WORKS
Under provisions of the Alaska Public Works Act, Congress has wisely provided needed assistance to many Alaska communities whose normal economy has been disrupted by defense construction. Under provisions of this act, Congress has appropriated to date approximately $53 million of the $70 million originally authorized in the act setting up the program.
Since that time Congress has extended the life of the act itself to 1959, and there remains $17 million to be appropriated to meet the original $70 million authorized. We sincerely hope that this committee will support efforts to make funds available to continue this program so that our towns will be able to construct the facilities which are needed and which we are unable to finance on our own.
Part of this inability to finance our own projects stems from debt limit restrictions placed upon Alaska towns and partly because of the fact that Alaska's population has been growing so rapidly that municipalities have not been able to keer pace with this growth,
The program is not only needed for the next 3 fiscal years, but it will also undoubtedly be needed as new industrial developments take place in southeastern Alaska. As the towns of Wrangell, Juneau, and Sitka become the sites for multimillion industries, they will not be able to build the public facilities necessary to take care of expanding population without assistance from the Federal GoFernment. Even elimination of debt limitations on the municipalities would not solve this problem. We are therefore compelled to request special assistance, We do want to say again that all Alaskans sincerely appreciate the enlightened attitude which Congress has taken in recognizing these problems.
(Whereupon, at 12 noon a recess was taken until 1:30 p. m., this same day.)
(The beginning of the following session was reported by Miss Maynard, of Juneau.)
Mr. BARTLETT. The committee will come to order.
(Mr. Al Anderson resumed the witness stand.)
Mr. BARTLETT. Now, I believe when we took the noon recess, Mr. Anderson, you were engaged in making to the committee specific recommendations which you had in mind. Had you completed the subject of hydroelectric power?
Mr. AL ANDERSON. Not quite, sir.
Mr. Al ANDERSON. The committee has asked certain questions concerning the Bureau of Reclamation in Alaska, and I should like to say that the Secretary of the Interior has designated that agency to conduct waterpower developments in the Territory, and I should also like to emphasize that we believe that the Bureau of Reclamation should do that job and that sufficient funds should be made available so that they can do the kind of job that is necessary. Under Public Law 322 they were given authority to continue their activities in Alaska, and in the general appropriation bill $100,000 was allocated for their functions for fiscal 1956. That appears to me to be a very small amount of money, indeed, to carry out the kinds of investigations that are needed to develop the water resources of this Territory.
Mr. MCFARLAND. Mr. Anderson, do you think that the $250,000 which is the limitation in Public Law 322, would give you an adequate program of investigations?
Mr. AL ANDERSON. Well, it will at least more closely approach adequacy. I appreciate that that was a compromise. I know that studies have been made on all of the rivers in the United States, or at least the principal ones, but we are faced with the unfortunate fact that we have little or no information on the Copper River, on the Susitna, and the Yukon, so that I think that $250,000 is the minimum requirement and possibly more money could be wisely spent by the Congress in those studies.
Mr. BARTLETT. Well, actually, Mr. Anderson, we have made a bare start, wouldn't you agree, in view of the fact that this program was not launched until 1948 and we have one of the great river systems of the continent?
Mr. AL ANDERSON. I wholly agree. We have made a very, very minor start. This is just a beginning of a program to develop the water resources of Alaska.
The next topic which I should like to discuss briefly is fisheries.
Mr. Utt. I wonder if he will identify the page?
Mr. BARTLETT. Will you identify the page so the reporter will not have to record this?
Mr. AL ANDERSON. Page 24. [Reading from document submitted to the committee, beginning "Since the early 1900's * * * " and concluding"* * * scope of its fisheries program."]
” There was some discussion this morning about the Alaska public works program and the amounts of money which the Congress had seen fit to appropriate under provisions of this act for the Territory of Alaska. It was pointed out that the request for funds had been $10 million, that the amount appropriated had been $3 million. I think that the committee should understand as clearly as possible that engineering projects do carry over, that the Corps of Engineers re