There is created in the department the Alaska Historical Commission.
At the first meeting of each year, the commission shall elect a chair from among its members.
The members of the commission serve without compensation but are entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized by law for other boards and commissions.
Repealed or Renumbered
Repealed or Renumbered
The commission shall meet at least twice a year. Additional meetings may be called by the chair or by petition of at least five members. Five members of the commission constitutes a quorum.
Members of the commission are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature meeting in joint session. The members of the commission serve at the pleasure of the governor.
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Subject to available appropriations, the chair may, with the concurrence of a majority of the commission, employ necessary personnel and may contract for the services of experts and other persons who may be needed.
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- 41.35.240 may be cited as the Alaska Historic Preservation Act.
Article 02. ALSection KA HISTORICAL COMMISSION
A person who is convicted of violating a provision of Section 41.35.010
- 41.35.240 is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
The commissioner shall adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of Section 41.35.010
In addition to other penalties and remedies provided by law, a person who violates a provision of Section 41.35.010
- 41.35.240 is subject to a maximum civil penalty of
$100,000 for each violation.
The term of office for a member of the commission is three years, except for those who are members by virtue of their positions with the state, who serve for as long as they remain in the position by virtue of which they are members of the commission. Except as provided in Section 39.05.080(4),
a member appointed to fill a vacancy serves for the unexpired term of the member succeeded.
(a) There is established in the state general fund a special Alaska Historical Commission receipts account into which shall be paid:
(1) all monetary gifts, grants, and bequests received by the commission;
(2) all royalties and other income that the commission receives from its projects.
(b) The legislature may appropriate funds from this account for commission projects.
The following persons are peace officers of the state and shall enforce Section 41.35.010
(1) an employee of the department authorized by the commissioner;
(2) a peace officer in the state;
(3) any other person authorized by the commissioner.
It is the policy of the state to preserve and protect the historic, prehistoric, and archeological resources of Alaska from loss, desecration, and destruction so that the scientific, historic, and cultural heritage embodied in these resources may pass undiminished to future generations. To this end, the legislature finds and declares that the historic, prehistoric, and archeological resources of the state are properly the subject of concerted and coordinated efforts exercised on behalf of the general welfare of the public in order that these resources may be located,
preserved, studied, exhibited, and evaluated.
Before any historic, prehistoric, or archeological remains are excavated or removed from private land by the department, the written approval of the owner shall first be secured. When the value of the private land is diminished by the excavation or removal, the owner of the land shall be compensated for the loss at a monetary sum mutually agreed on by the department and the owner or at a monetary sum set by the court.
State-owned monuments, sites, and other historic, prehistoric, or archeological properties owned or purchased by the state are under the control of the department, and their maintenance shall be covered in the appropriations made to the department. Privately owned state monuments or historic sites are eligible to receive state support for their maintenance, restoration, and rehabilitation if they are kept accessible to the general public and application for support is made in conformity with regulations adopted by the commissioner.
Before any construction, alteration, or improvement of any nature is undertaken on a privately owned, officially designated state monument or historic site by any person, the person shall give the department three months notice of intention to construct on, alter, or improve it. Before the expiration of the three-month notification period, the department shall either begin eminent domain proceedings under Section 41.35.060(b) or undertake or permit the recording and salvaging of any historic, prehistoric, or archeological information considered necessary.
The Alaska Historical Commission consists of the following persons:
(1) the lieutenant governor;
(2) the state liaison officer appointed under 16 U.S.C. 470-470n (P.L. 89-665, National Historic Preservation Act of
(3) three persons with professionally relevant backgrounds appointed from each of the following fields: history,
architecture, and archeology;
(4) one person appointed to represent indigenous ethnic groups;
(5) two persons appointed from a list of recommended nominees, containing at least four names, submitted each year by the Alaska Historical Society;
(6) one other person.
Upon the recommendation of the commission, the governor may declare by public order any particular historic,
prehistoric, or archeological structure, deposit, site, or other object of scientific or historic interest that is situated on land owned or controlled by the state to be a state monument or historic site, and the governor may designate as a part of the monument or site as much land as is considered necessary for the proper access, care, and management of the object or site to be protected. When an object or site is situated on land held in private ownership,
it may be declared a state monument or historic site in the same manner, with the written consent of the owner.
The commissioner may issue a permit for the investigation, excavation, gathering, or removal from the natural state, of any historic, prehistoric, or archeological resources of the state. A permit may be issued only to persons or organizations qualified to make the investigations, excavations, gatherings, or removals and only if the results of these authorized activities will be made available to the general public through institutions and museums interested in disseminating knowledge on the subjects involved. If the historic, prehistoric, or archeological resource involved is one which is, or is located on a site which is, sacred, holy, or of religious significance to a cultural group, the consent of that cultural group must be obtained before a permit may be issued under this section.
In Section 41.35.010
- 41.35.240, unless the context otherwise requires,
(1) 'commission' means the Alaska Historical Commission established in Section 41.35.300
(2) 'historic, prehistoric, and archeological resources' includes deposits, structures, ruins, sites, buildings, graves,
artifacts, fossils, or other objects of antiquity which provide information pertaining to the historical or prehistorical culture of people in the state as well as to the natural history of the state.
(a) A person may not appropriate, excavate, remove, injure, or destroy, without a permit from the commissioner, any historic, prehistoric, or archeological resources of the state.
(b) A person may not possess, sell, buy, or transport within the state, or offer to sell, buy, or transport within the state, historic, prehistoric, or archeological resources taken or acquired in violation of this section or 16 U.S.C.
(c) [Repealed, Sec. 3 ch 83 SLA 2001].
(d) An historic, prehistoric, or archeological resource that is taken in violation of this section shall be seized by any person designated in Section 41.35.220
wherever found and at any time. Objects seized may be disposed of as the commissioner determines by deposit in the proper public depository.
(a) The department, with the recommendation of the commission, may acquire real and personal properties that have statewide historic, prehistoric, or archeological significance by gift, purchase, devise, or bequest. The department shall preserve and administer property so acquired. The department may acquire property adjacent to the property having historic, prehistoric, or archeological significance when it is determined to be necessary for the proper use and administration of the significant property.
(b) If an historic, prehistoric, or archeological property which has been found by the department, upon the recommendation of the commission, to be important for state ownership is in danger of being sold or used so that its historic,
prehistoric, or archeological value will be destroyed or seriously impaired, or is otherwise in danger of destruction or serious impairment, the department may establish the use of the property in a manner necessary to preserve its historic, prehistoric, or archeological character or value. If the owner of the property does not wish to follow the restrictions of the department, the department may acquire the property by eminent domain under Section 09.55.240 - 09.55.460.
(a) The state reserves to itself title to all historic, prehistoric, and archeological resources situated on land owned or controlled by the state, including tideland and submerged land, and reserves to itself the exclusive right of field archeology on state-owned or controlled land. However, nothing in Section 41.35.010
- 41.35.240 diminishes the cultural rights and responsibilities of persons of aboriginal descent or infringes upon their right of possession and use of those resources that may be considered of historic, prehistoric, or archeological value.
(b) Although title to historic, prehistoric, and archeological resources is in the state, local cultural groups may obtain from the state, or retain, for study or display, artifacts and other items of these resources from their respective cultures or areas if the commission created in Section 41.35.300
(1) the group has a durable building with weatherproof and fireproof construction and humidity control and other factors necessary to serve as a museum which will assure safe preservation of the items, (2) the item sought to be obtained is not one for which there is an undue risk of damage during transportation, and (3) the item sought to be obtained or retained is not one requiring special treatment or care beyond the ability or means of the group requesting it. A group retaining such an item or obtaining one from the state shall house it in the museum building and shall make every reasonable effort to assure its safe preservation. If the commission finds that a local cultural group is not properly taking care of an item the group shall return it to the department.
(a) The department shall locate, identify, and preserve in suitable records information regarding historic, prehistoric,
and archeological sites, locations, and remains. The information shall be submitted to the heads of the executive departments of the state.
(b) Before public construction or public improvement of any nature is undertaken by the state, or by a governmental agency of the state or by a private person under contract with or licensed by the state or governmental agency of the state,
the department may survey the affected area to determine if the area contains historic, prehistoric, or archeological values.
(c) If the department determines that historic, prehistoric, or archeological sites, locations, or remains will be adversely affected by the public construction or improvement, the proposed public construction or improvement may not be commenced until the department has performed the necessary investigation, recording, and salvage of the site,
location, or remains. All investigation, recording, and salvage work shall be performed as expeditiously as possible so that no state construction project will be unduly impaired, impeded, or delayed.
(d) If in the course of performing public construction or improvements, historic, prehistoric, or archeological sites,
locations, remains, or objects are discovered, the department shall be notified and its concurrence shall be requested in continuing the construction or improvement. Upon receipt of this notice, the department shall survey the area to determine whether the area contains historic, prehistoric, or archeological data which should be preserved in the public interest. The survey shall be conducted as expeditiously as possible. If, as a result of the survey, it is determined that (1) this data exists in the area, (2) the data has exceptional historic, prehistoric, or archeological significance, and should be collected and preserved in the public interest, and (3) it is feasible to collect and preserve the data, the department shall perform the necessary work to collect and preserve the data. This work shall be performed as expeditiously as possible.
(e) If the concurrence of the department required under (b) and (c) of this section is not obtained after 90 days from the filing of a request for its concurrence to proceed with the project, the agency or person performing the construction or improvement may apply to the governor for permission to proceed without that concurrence, and the governor may take the action the governor considers best in overruling or sustaining the department.
(f) The costs of investigation, recording, and salvage of the site shall be reimbursed by the agency sponsoring the construction project.
(g) Notwithstanding (a) - (f) of this section, all actions to stop any project shall first be approved in writing by the commissioner.
(a) The duties of the commission are to
(1) survey, evaluate, and catalog Alaska prehistory and history materials now in print;
(2) ascertain and register what Alaska prehistory and history work is now in progress;
(3) identify the existing gaps in the coverage of Alaska's past in presently available published works and establish priorities for bridging them;
(4) prepare a thematic study of Alaska's history for historic preservation;
(5) identify the sources of Alaska's history;
(6) coordinate the production and publication of works that will adequately present all aspects of Alaska's past;
(7) cooperate with the federal government in programs relating to history and archaeology;
(8) develop criteria for the evaluation of state monuments and historic sites and all real and personal property that may be considered to be of historic, prehistoric, or archeological significance as would justify their acquisition and ownership by the state;
(9) cooperate with the department in formulating and administering a statewide historic sites survey under 16 U.S.C.
470-470n (P.L. 89-665, National Historic Preservation Act of 1966);
(10) review those surveys and historic preservation plans that may be required, and approve properties for nomination to the National Register as provided for in 16 U.S.C. 470-470n (P.L. 89-665, National Historic Preservation Act of 1966);
(11) provide necessary assistance to the governor and the legislature for achieving balanced and coordinated state policies and programs for the preservation of the state's historic, prehistoric, and archeological resources;
(12) consult with local historical district commissions regarding the establishment of historical districts under Section 29.55.010
- 29.55.020 and the approval of project alterations under Section 45.98.040
; recommend, if appropriate, the formulation of additional criteria for the designation of historical districts under Section 29.55.020
(b); approve plans for and evaluate the suitability of specific structures for purposes of loan eligibility and continuance under the historical district revolving loan fund (Section 45.98); and consult with the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development relative to the adoption of regulations for historical district loans under Section 45.98;
(13) determine the correct and most appropriate names of the lakes, streams, places, and other geographic features in the state and their spelling;
(14) pass upon and give names to lakes, streams, places, and other geographic features in the state for which no single generally acceptable name has been in use;
(15) cooperate with local subdivisions of government and, with their approval, change the names of lakes, streams, places,
and other geographic features to eliminate duplication of names in the state;
(16) prepare and publish an official state dictionary of geographic names and publish it for sale, either as a complete whole or in parts when ready; and
(17) serve as the state representatives of the United States Board on Geographic Names and cooperate with that board so that there is no conflict between the state and federal designations of geographic features in the state.
(b) In carrying out its duties to name geographic features under this section, the commission shall consider using Alaska Native place names for geographic features in the state that have not previously been named, using Native language writing systems accepted by the Alaska Native Language Center of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
(c) When the commission gives a name to a lake, stream, place, or other geographic feature in the state, the name is the official name of the geographic feature and shall be used in all maps, records, documents, and other publications issued by the state or its departments and political subdivisions.
(d) A person may not attempt to modify local usage or name an unnamed geographic feature in an advertisement or publication without first obtaining the approval of the commission. If a person violates this section, the commission shall promptly announce its disapproval and shall adopt an official name for the feature.