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Mr. DINKEL. For land clearing mostly.
Mr. O'BRIEN. 210 acres. That is a comparatively large farm, larger than the average?
Mr. DINKEL. It is a little larger than the average, but I don't believe quite big enough.
Mr. O'Brien. Would you like to expand your farm, but you find the cost of clearance or the unavailability of credit a handicap in that
Mr. DINKEL. Yes. We need a few more cash crops, too. Potatoes and milk are our main ones. We should be able to get more according to the experimental station.
Mr. O Brien. Do you think that would be made easier if the Extension Service was increased so that some of the knowledge which accumulates at the research center could be spread out among the farmer's?
Mr. DINKEL. I do, ves.
Mr. O'BRIEN. In other words, you think the knowledge exists, it is simply a question of fieldmen getting it out!
Mr. DINKEL. Not all of it, no.
Mrs. PFOST. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask, what interest rate do you pay on borrowed money now?
Mr. DINKEL. I have been getting most of mine from the bank and pay 8 percent.
Mrs. Prost. Eight percent?
Mrs. Prost. What would be a reasonable rate, in your opinion, when you say cheap money?
Mr. DINKEL. 4 percent, I believe.
Mrs. Prost. Do you happen to know whether there are farmlands left in this valley for homesteading purposes or is every acre taken?
Mr. DINKEL. Right in the immediate valley, you mean?
Mr. DINKEL. Most of it is taken up. Of course, there is some back on the mountains. There is quite a little of it back there, but there
Mrs. Prost. Do you have grazing in the foothills around the valley?
Mr. Dawson. What kind of farming operation did you have there before you came up here?
Mr. DINKEL. I was mostly in the beet business there.
Mr. Dawson. What do you figure the average value of your land is up here that you are operating? Mr. DINKEL. That is kind of—it is according to where it is.
Mr. Dawson. Your farm, for instance, how much an acre is it worth?
Mr. DINKEL. I wouldn't have the least idea.
Mr. DAWSON. The banker would have an idea, wouldn't he, when he loaned you money on security ?
Mr. ÞINKEL. I think they figure $125 to $200 an acre. That is cleared land, of course.
Mrs. Prost. What type of crops do you grow on your particular farm?
Mr. DINKEL. I have a little bit of everything, more or less diversified. I bought a new water system this summer, but I got it too late and figure on using it next year—a sprinkler system.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. O'BRIEN. Mr. Irwin has submitted a letter dated June 17, 1955, which he received from Clarence J. Rhode, regional director, Fish and Wildlife Service, on the moose problem. If there is no objection, it will be made a part of the record. (The letter referred to follows:) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE,
Juneau, Alaska, June 17, 1955.
University of Alaska, College, Aluska.
Your observations on the moose during the past winter are interesting. Reports of extensive damage to ornamental tree and shrub planting have not previously been relayed to us. Your report of the number of dead moose found in the Palmer area does not appear to be consistent with the reports that have thus far been received from our field personnel. We will ask Mr. Scott, our biologist from Anchorage, to check with you in the field and secure a report of moose that have died during the winter. Many of the reports we receive are duplications and at best, we are unable to run down all of the incidents of mortality and determine possible causes. Your descriptions of the material that appeared in the paunches of the dead moose seem consistent with their normal feeding activity during the winter when they depend entirely on woody brows. We are, of course, fully aware of the extensive overbrowsing in many areas resulting in feeding on coarse, large stems having a small proportion of bark and cambium.
The last paragraph of your letter is a “punchy one.” We have been aware of the potential threat of large numbers of moose encroaching upon the Palmer area during the past 6 or 8 years. The Game Commission has discussed the matter at every meeting during this period and our biologists proposed a winter season several years ago. In order to avoid unlimited numbers of hunters "thrashing” the lanscape, a permit season was suggested. While we believe the permit season in late winter accomplishes certain objectives, there are, nevertheless, many objections. Generally, the moose are in poor condition and the hunters raised many objections. We are aware, of course, that taking bulls only will merely alleviate the problem. We suspect that the only solution would be to provide for a limited cow harvest to reduce the population to a more reasonable level in such localized areas as the Palmer area. The Alaska game law is an act of Congress, requiring congressional action for amendment. The present law does not provide for the legal taking of cow moose. We have proposed amendments to the Alaska ga me law to provide for the taking of cow moose as well as other changes. Thus far, we have had no advice as to the status of the amendments. When and if the amendments are made, you can be sure that the Alaska Game Commission will take whatever action seems best in the interests of all. Very truly yours,
CLARENCE J. RHODE,
Regional Director. Mr. O'Brien. The formal hearing will be adjourned at this point.
(Whereupon, at 12:50 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned to reconvene at the call of the Chair.)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1955
. 1953. Fish
thus logist e that utions pter. 7 the ivity
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Seward, Alaska. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 4:20 p. m., in the city council room, Hon. Gracie Pfost presiding.
Mrs. PFOST. The Subcommittee on Territorial and Insular Affairs will now come to order.
This is a beautiful valley. We had a wonderful flight over, and saw some of the most spectacular beauty we have seen since coming to Alaska. Members of the committee join with me in expressing our appreciation to you for the nice reception afforded us at the airport a few moments ago, it was heart warming indeed.
Mr. O'Brien, of New York, chairman of this subcommittee, conducted the hearing in the Matanuska Valley today, but was unable to come on to Seward. He asked me to express his regrets for he wanted very much to meet the citizens of this community. I would like at this time to introduce members of the committee to
On my left is Congressman Utt, of California, and Congressman Dawson, of Utah. Your Delegate, Bob Bartlett, needs no introduction—I am sure all of you are acquainted with him. Our staff members are Mr. McFarland, our engineering consultant; Dr. Taylor, our Territorial consultant; and Mr. Veley, our reporter. Colonel Libby
, sees that we make our appointments on time, and we all owe him a deep debt of gratitude for his loyal efficiency.
This is a hard-working committee. In 3 weeks we will have held some 75 to 80 hours of hearings and will have heard from 1 out of each 500 residents in the Territory of Alaska.
Our time is very limited this afternoon. Colonel Libby tells us we must leave on schedule this evening, due to flying conditions. It will therefore be necessary for us to divide the time among those testifying. We have found in some of the recent hearings that the first 1 or 2 witnesses were heard quite at length, usually due to the enthusiasm on the part of members of the committee, in asking questions. We would then find our time short and other important witnesses could be heard only very briefly. To resolve this problem I believe at the beginning of the hearing today, we should divide the time equally among the witnesses present. Those of you who wish to allot your time to someone else may do so. This is your hearing. We are here to listen to your problems, and to learn more about this section of Alaska.
the ator ters the he es
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The short tour around town was most interesting. We saw the location for your new post office, and saw your tuberculosis sanitarium that is operated by the Board of Missions, Women's Division of the Methodist Church, and your fine school building. I understand you are also getting a new dock. You people are truly thriving in this community. I am told you have one of the largest harbors in Alaska, perhaps one of the largest in the world.
Congressman Utt suggests each of you highlight your testimony and file your statement in full for the record.
(Discussion of the record.)
Mrs. Prost. There will be approximately 8 or 9 minutes for each witness. Committee members will want to ask questions, therefore we would like each witness to use approximately 5 minutes to highlight his general statement, and then we will proceed with the questioning.
As you people know, if you had statehood with the resulting vote, Bob Bartlett would be in seniority, next to the chairman of the full committee today, because of his years of service. For that reason and because I know he is especially acquainted with your problems, I wish to turn the meeting over to your very able and competent Delegate, Bob Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Madam Chairman.
I want to say to those who are here that the committee deeply regrets we will not be able to give more time to this hearing. If we could detail for you the schedule under which we are operating, I think you would have a better understanding. We had hoped to be here a bit earlier, and we only wish we could stay a bit later, but two more hearings have to be held tomorrow. I think you will agree with me that the important thing is to have these Members of Congress come and see Seward and hear you, even if briefly, and then when you file your more complete statements they will know what it is all about, and they will know you personally, and they will know something about the geographic situation here.
Reverend Malin is the first witness.
STATEMENT OF REV. CHARLES MALIN, PRESIDENT, CHAMBER OF
COMMERCE, SEWARD, ALASKA
Reverend MALIN. I am Rev. Charles Malin, the president of the
Mr. BARTLETT. A minister of which church.
I am very happy to have the committee here in Seward to see what we are doing here, and we are very thankful for the help the Federal Government has given us in times past. Seward, like most Alaska communities, is having a few growing pains that the Government can help us with a little bit, but mostly I think we are ready to go on our own, and I think we are doing that in large respect.
I would like to present these two items.
The city of Seward is Alaska's largest seaport. The major portion of all freight destined for the interior of Alaska is handled through this port. This applies to general cargo as well as bulk cargoes. Because of this we are naturally very interested in all aspects of transportation, waterborne as well as rail and trucking. For a port to be able to function effectively and with a minimum cost, it is very necessary that adequate and modern facilities be established. During the last 2 years, Congress has appropriated funds for the rehabilitation of the south end of the Alaska Railroad, as well as for new dock faciliities at Seward. This in itself is a tremendous improvement and in the years to come, will save untold millions to Alaskans. The rehabilitation of the Portage-Seward section of the Alaska Railroad is now nearly at its completion and by the end of 1956 the dock facilities under the present program will also be completed.
The present construction of docks calls for two 500-foot berths. However, only the one berth will have a warehouse. No money has been made available for a warehouse on the second berth. With the type of cargo coming into Seward for handling and forwarding, it does not seem practical to construct a berth without a warehouse. To begin with, the weather in Alaska 6 months out of the year is such that cargo cannot be stored outside because of freezing. There is also a large amount of rain and snow. At the present time we have approximately 3 ships a week calling at this port-I might add, right at the moment there are 4 in town at the dock-and undoubtedly when the docks are completed, both berths will be taken up most of the time.
The warehouse at the one berth will not be sufficient to adequately handle and protect the cargo from two ships discharging simultaneously. There is no doubt that for practical reasons a warehouse on the second berth will have to be constructed and it seems to us that this would be the time to do so while the contractor is still working, has his equipment here and the job can be completed at a reasonable cost. If a new warehouse on the second berth is not constructed, it would almost seem a waste of money to build the new docks since the warehousing capacity will be less than what the old docks provided. We therefore urge that money be made available and the present contract for the building of the docks be extended to include a second warehouse.
In connection with the shipping industry we have one other problem that the local chamber as well as the various steamship companies have attempted to solve. One of the steamship companies, Coastwise Lines of San Francisco, that calls at Seward approximately once a week has to clear for a foreign port each time, since they make a call in Canada on the southbound voyage. To be able to clear at the present time, it is necessary for the master or one of his officers to go to Anchorage to the Customs Office in order to provide proper clearance of the vessel. On arrival and departure of foreign ships and American ships coming from foreign countries, it is necessary for the customs officer to come down from Anchorage to enter and clear the ships. This at times is very inconvenient and a hardship to both the ship and the one and only customs officer in Anchorage.