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Thread: Caribou Hunting closure

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    Default Caribou Hunting closure

    My air transporter has told me that the NPS is going to CLOSE caribou hunting in the Noatak National Preserve which is in unit 23 from Sept 1 thru 15. Some of the drainages closed will include the Eli, Aggie, and the Kelly rivers. Does anyone have any knowledge of this? These restrictions have not been published yet but are due out soon.

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    Its called "The Noatak River No-fly Corridor" and was how low level flying/spotting/herding of Bears, Caribou and Moose by guys with planes and customers.

    Not new at all, its been in place since the 90's and since 99.9% of local Hunters do not own a plane and remain here in the Arctic all Winter eating what theycatch, they felt this was a good solution. Get dropped off and float, fly outta Noatak on a schedual flight.
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    Its an attempt to by locals to keep non-locals from hunting "their" caribou (or moose, bear etc...). Even though these animals belong to all of us. What a crock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by #1duck View Post
    Its an attempt to by locals to keep non-locals from hunting "their" caribou (or moose, bear etc...). Even though these animals belong to all of us. What a crock.

    WRONG.

    Theres no 'Attempt' to it, its been an effective law thats been in place since spotting and Herding caribou by Guides in the 80's and 90's was REALLY pissing off Hunters along the River, no matter where they came from. The Noatak has always been a Hot spot of nonres and nonlocal hunting for Unit23 Caribou Hunting, is VERY productive and access is also restricted for Locals as well.


    The disruption is stopped for the benifit of ALL Hunters.
    Theres far more out of state hunters alone, not counting res non locals, Hunting up that way.......way more in numbers than locals, and Im sure all of them hunting along the river do not want low flying aircraft to be used to Spot/Herd/Spook Caribou.

    Nobodys being stopped from Hunting, just flying over.......go around, take a boat or drift on through. If anybody knows the Caribou are only moving through and temporary, as well as not belonging to anyone untill shot dead by them, it is the Locals.

    Everyone knows theres more than enough, and Kotzebue, Noatak as well as Kivalina benifit from these Hunters comming in as well, and most even look forward to the Fall Hunters arriving, renting vehicls, rooms, buying artwork, processing meats for transpot and such.
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    Just dont talk to chips neighbor..her hubby gets pissed
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    Well, Vince, if you can convince local folks that things are gonna be better because its gonna be this way or that, then, as one, I can see it from that eye view.....I dont know what someone from Anch or Atlanta thinks of keeping lowflowing aircraft from spooking the Caribou they are Hunting along the river, but I think they would opine much like the neighbors Honey, who shakes his fist at the wind ~~LOL!!~~

    Theres a TON of traffic to the Noatak in Sept, for a Ton of Caribou that are arriving.....You do realize like 30+ flights a day are going back and forth with the various transporters flying in guys, not counting all the private aircraft, and if 1/2 of them took "The river" on the trip up or back, it would still be at least 30 fly overs a day.......who would want that while Hunting/camping, from sun up to sun down?

    Who here has floated/Hunted the Noatak that would want such? Thats part of what makes it nice 'round there.....
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    whats all that got to do with not talking to moochies wife when she kicks your door in?... if you have issues with low flying pilots buzzjng yer camps.. have them womens dressed by daylight..might get less peepers
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    Well, Vince, I belive having her up and dressed by daylight might backfire as a Sasquach sighting, and a Reality Show Film crew arrive......

    You do know that kicking in your door was just a show of affection, right?........... You did survive where others have fled screaming, unable to unsee, blithering and convusing, and are welcome to dive right in , anytime .......... They really do think highly of you when their intoxicated, a true pair of Drunken Rabid Wolverines.... ~~LOL!!~~
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    I talked to Mike at Ram Aviation last week when I heard a little something like that. It has nothing to do with the No Fly Zone on the Noatak. Planes can fly in the no fly zone they just can't land for hunting purposes in the no fly zone. They can still land in the no fly zone for fishermen or floaters or what ever just no hunting. The NPS I guess is coming out with the area west of the Kug? and south to the aggy to be shut down for fly in hunting except that they can fly residents of the region in. They just can't fly in people that don't live in the region like people that live in Anchorage or Fairbanks or Kenai, or Homer, or Tok or Dutch Harbor etc. or the lower 48. Seems like the new superintendant of the Park in Kotzebue is making this BS up and people at the head of the NPS are buying it. From what Mike said to me is that the transporters are thouroughly pissed off about it and they are closing down land that belongs to all citizens of the U.S.!! Give them an inch and they'll take a mile and once they take it they won't give it back. Mike also said the NPS said that if someone from outside the region draws a moose tag or bear tag in that area they can still be flown into the area even though it's closed. He also said it probably won't really affect very much because the Caribou haven't really migrated through that area very much during that time frame in the last 20 years since Red Dog mine has been in full production scaring the majority of the herd to the east as it's shows on the caribou colars that they track. It sounds like the transporters have been complaining about it and plan to complain all the way up the ladder. The thing the hacks me off like many is that it is "Our Land" and they are merely managing "Our Land" and if you ask me it sounds like they are not managing it to good! I think everyone needs to get a hold of our Senators, SCI, NRA and anyone else and sign petitions or what ever we can do to make this stop. They'll start here and stop no where. We hire transporters because they provide an essential element for the citizens of the U.S. to access "our park lands"!!!!

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    If what "flying" says is true, this is bad news. While it may keep folks out of that area...............it will just lead to more crowding on the lands that are useable to transporters. It would seem that allowing locals to use transporters into the area, but not allowing non locals would be beyond the Park Services legal abilities.
    Hope the Park super comes to his senses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    If what "flying" says is true, this is bad news. While it may keep folks out of that area...............it will just lead to more crowding on the lands that are useable to transporters. It would seem that allowing locals to use transporters into the area, but not allowing non locals would be beyond the Park Services legal abilities.
    Hope the Park super comes to his senses.
    according to the fed. transportation plan..the feds are plannng to allow acces only through conssions..so i doubt them coming to any sense, will occure
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    The game belongs to the state and the people are the state.Problem is the state has gotten to damm big.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    according to the fed. transportation plan..the feds are plannng to allow acces only through conssions..so i doubt them coming to any sense, will occure

    Concessions were in place the past two years at least, http://www.nps.gov/noat/parknews/upl...pplication.pdf .

    As for what is going on now, I cannot find mention of it here: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...dno=36#PartTop .

    Or here: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text....1.34.0.132.10 .

    I could find nothing referencing the Noatak Preserve in this regard from FWS nor BLM websites.

    Does anyone have a link to share that states what the current plan is if different than what I Posted ?

    From what I can find thus far unless I missed it when reading the mouse print, this is case of "status quo" .

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    All: Some of this topic was covered in a separate thread a few weeks ago. This is the URL that comes up when I go back to that thread, so I suspect it will work for you, too: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ghlight=Noatak

    I responded a couple of weeks ago at the bottom of the thread. My answer is still accurate to the question that was asked at that time. I don't know enough to say whether the answer, which appears below, addresses questions noted above that pertain to the NPS. Send me a pm or email me at john_quinley@nps.gov if you have a specific item for Noatak National Preserve that you'd like me to track down.

    "Sorry to be a little late replying to the initial inquiry, but wanted you to know that the National Park Service has eliminated the client cap for fly-in caribou hunts (there never were any for other species).

    "This change goes into effect for the 2012 season. There is a time restriction on flights into the far western portion of the preserve. Commercial use authorization holders will be authorized to transport non-federally qualified subsistence caribou hunters into the far western portion of Noatak National Preserve after September 15, unless an earlier date is authorized by the superintendent.

    "I would recommend checking with your air taxi or the preserve office (442-3890) for specifics on locations & timing."

    John Quinley
    NPS Public Affairs

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    I dialed that # and talked with an NPS lady I know, Linda Jeschki she said the Dan Stevenson wasnt in (442 8306) and he would know best, s far as she's concernd, lifting the cap on transporters bringing in Hunters is the only change to this.

    Also , the No Fly Corridor is only for Hunting related flying, and if a local was landed by plane at their camp, they would have to wait for the next day to hunt, unless that subsitance hunter was landing at the airstrip in Noatak village, where they most likely live. I know no one IN Noatak that uses a plane to assist in hunting or accessing a camp along the river, as snowmachines and boats do the job mucho better, but I know quite a few guys from Kotzebue who own planes and fly in to Hunt and fish, party at Kelly Bar and just have a good time.

    Luckily enough the Caribou Migration has been moving through there as usuall, and most all who hunt the Noatak do well, as do the people who live in the one village on the whole river.
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    reread the post

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    I found out a little more information from Mike. The National Park Service is shutting down the entire area from the head of the Kugorouk? river through the Eli River and down through the Aggy? River to hunters transported by aircraft except if you are a local federal subsistence qualified hunter. If you draw a moose, grizzly or sheep tag in that area they are allowing that person to be flown in. They claim it's to let the Caribou migration have an un obstructed path for migration. I guess they think 20 hunting camps have changed the total migration of the caribou herd, I wonder if they are going to do that at onion portage on the Kobuk River? I wonder what scientific and biological data they are using to figure that out? I think the thing many people are missing here, is the fact that the NPS is out of control! They are shutting down an area in our Preserve that the law allows for the use of aircraft for transportation for the enjoyment of it's owners for hunting purposes, all U.S. Citizens! There are probably less then 1,000 people that utilize the entire Noatak National Preserve in an entire year. Millions of people go into the Grand Canyon and Yellow Stone but they keep letting them in the door! There is plenty of PARK land in Alaska that don't allow the use of aircraft for hunting in the park that the Park Service already has set aside for a local only exclusive hunting club! The more they take the more we lose our rights to use it. When will they stop? Probably when all the land is regulated to the point that no one can use it! I don't know how many acres or miles the Noatak Preserve is but it looks big and vast. Time for the people to stand up and once again fight for their rights to use their land! What's next, take our guns too? We need some e mail and phone numbers posted so we can all start complaining about what they are doing!

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    "My air transporter has told me that the NPS is going to CLOSE caribou hunting in the Noatak National Preserve which is in unit 23 from Sept 1 thru 15. Some of the drainages closed will include the Eli, Aggie, and the Kelly rivers. Does anyone have any knowledge of this? These restrictions have not been published yet but are due out soon."


    Is Not true.


    The No-fly corridor for Hunters is nothing new, Hunting will comtenue as schedualed...~~LOL!!~~ just now they can take even MORE guys in to hunt


    I live in Unit 23 and I cannot access the lands for hunting in the corrridor by plane, but for the few folks who actually LIVE there, 24/7, 365, along the river, the NPS allows them to fly in,.... but they dont................they hunt with boats at that time of year.,

    Thats the kind of exemptions NPS SHOULD give when people LIVE there, surrounded by NPS lands and laws as an option. Not many (actually any) I know can afford to charter a plane from Kotz, have it pick them up in Noatak village , and drop them off to hunt inthe corridor, them pay for a return flight.......just a waste when a boat is much more efficent. Locals just dont use transporters for Hunting.

    The Noatak National Preserve is 6,569,904 acres in size,and had 11,722 vistors in 2011 according to NPS, with more than 73% were there to Hunt from somewhere else, the rest were tourists, fisherman, birdwatchers, ect..
    Noatak village a around 500 Men , women and children, no roads in or out, just a river, an airstrip and snow in winter, so if someone go's home to the village, or their camp by airplane, they do not have to wait to hunt, the only 'Special treatment' they recive. They and the village predate the Preserve status and there are laws and ways that they dealt with having this imposed opon them.

    Hunting has not been shut down in any way, just now theres no limit to the ammount of Hunters that transporters can bring into the area to hunt Caribou now.......sounds like an increase in hunting to me.

    If 11,722 folks can find a way into Noatak Preserve to Hunt and play, so can you.

    Im gonna tease Spiezel when I see him in town

    Call the Noatak Preserve, talk to Linda J or Dan S (442 8306) who work AT the Noatak preserve, or this fella, from above, john_quinley@nps.gov get yer info from those who know, not second or third hand, you'll feel better.
    US National Preserve, Alaska PO Box 1029 Kotzebue, AK 99752 www.nps.gov/noat/ Phone: 907-442-3890; Fax: 907-442-8316
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    Default Noatak "closure"...straight from NPS.

    Re-issuance of Transporter CUA’s
    Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA’s) for Commercial Transporter Visitor Services have been issued for the Noatak National Preserve (NOAT) since its establishment in 1980. The 2010/2011 CUA’s expired on 12/31/2011. The proposed action will renew the CUA’s for 2012-13.
    The far western portion of NOAT (i.e., west of the Kugururok River & Maiyumerak Mountains) receives a substantial amount of hunting use due to its proximity to Kotzebue. Since at least 1990, subsistence hunters in this area have consistently contended that transporter services negatively impact subsistence opportunities. Village representatives express concern that competition exists between non-federally qualified hunters and subsistence hunters for specific groups of caribou. Village representatives consistently state that activities associated with transporter visitor services (i.e. aircraft overflights, hunting, camping along migration corridors) actually alter local migration patterns or behavior, interfering with or even precluding subsistence hunting opportunities in those local areas.
    In previous years, Commercial Transporter Visitor Services CUA’s issued by Western Arctic National Parklands have included a generic stipulation stating that transporters will seek to ‘minimize potential conflicts with traditional subsistence hunters’. No specific guidance was provided. To address this, the NPS issued a moratorium on new transporters for 2008-09 (8 CUA’s were issued for this period) and issued a competitive solicitation for this service for 2010-11 (5 companies applied and all 5 were issued CUA’s). The CUA holders were authorized to transport a cumulative total of 357 clients into NOAT each year. The 2010-11 CUA’s also included a stipulation that transporters avoid conflicts with subsistence hunters but generally did not restrict where or when the 357 hunters could be dropped-off or picked-up.
    The 2010-11 system unduly restricted transporters and did not adequately address the stipulation to minimize the potential for conflicts with traditional subsistence users. To resolve these issues, the NPS will implement the following changes for the 2012-13 CUA’s:

    • The limits on the number of transporters and clients will be eliminated.
    • Commercial Transporter Visitor Services CUA holders will be authorized to transport non-federally qualified caribou hunters into the area west of the Kugururok River and Maiyumerak Mountains after September 15th unless authorized by the Superintendent to provide services before September 15th.
    • The Superintendent will consult with Commercial Transporter Visitor Services CUA holders, local villages and other agencies on a regular basis beginning on August 15 of each year to discuss the status of the caribou migration across the Noatak National Preserve.
    • The State of Alaska Noatak Controlled Use Area and pilots of private aircraft will be unaffected by these conditions (see map in PEPC file attachments). Holders of Commercial Transporter Visitor Service CUA’s will still be authorized to transport non-federally qualified caribou hunters east of the Kugururok River and Maiyumerak Mountains throughout the hunting season, without a restriction on dates or numbers of clients.

    Commercial Transporter Visitor Services for Dall Sheep and Moose sport hunters are not limited by the September 15 provision.
    The CUA’s will continue to include stipulations for transporter operations to protect wilderness values, visitor experience, and biological and cultural resources. The CUA stipulations will be reviewed by the Superintendent and revised as appropriate at the end of every year.

    -------------------------------------------------
    Essentially NPS trumps BOG's authority to establish seasons and regulate hunting.

    NPS has done this to protect the interests of subsistence hunters, even though there is no biological reason for the closure and the State of Alaska is going along with it...that's the real problem here. The State of Alaska establishes a hunting season and sells you a license and then the NPS says....ahh...even though there is a season and you have a license you can not go "here". UNLESS you have your own airplane....then it's ok.

    So if you have your own airplane it's not closed. IF you rely on a transporter to get you there....it's now closed by order of the Noatak Park Superintendent

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    [QUOTE=NedKelly;1097601]Re-issuance of Transporter CUA’s
    The 2010/2011 CUA’s expired on 12/31/2011. The proposed action will renew the CUA’s for 2012-13.
    The far western portion of NOAT (i.e., west of the Kugururok River & Maiyumerak Mountains) receives a substantial amount of hunting use due to its proximity to Kotzebue.

    Since at least 1990, subsistence hunters in this area have consistently contended that transporter services negatively impact subsistence opportunities. Village representatives express concern that competition exists between non-federally qualified hunters and subsistence hunters for specific groups of caribou. Village representatives consistently state that activities associated with transporter visitor services (i.e. aircraft overflights, hunting, camping along migration corridors) actually alter local migration patterns or behavior, interfering with or even precluding subsistence hunting opportunities in those local areas."



    When 10,500+ people pass through, conflicts arise.....guys in airplanes running Caribou pizzed off alotta people up this way. Anybody who can afford it comes up and hunts Unit23, there all kinds......

    Read the above as a Parks meeting in Noatak around 1990 "I couldnt belive it!! Guides with an airplane moved thos Caribou to thoe guys over there, and buzzed the herd, running them full blast into the water, and buzzing them back to those guys, untill they shot what they wanted, and I called for a Trooper!".
    I bellive this was a complaint with the same outfit up Kobuk River, near Onion Portage. Twas in the Local paper several times, and something was done about it. One idiot ruins it for the many.

    Did you notice that the plane restriction is specificly ONLY for Caribou Hunters, and the ammount they could fly into the 'fringe" for lack of a better word?

    The village does not have state city status. It is run by the tribe that lives in the preserves confines, and predate the preserve. They are run by an elders council, and the elders council speaks for the village of Noatak. When ever laws are propsed Local folks can speak up and give opinions at meetings. Stopping the herding of Caribou by Guides/transporters was the cause, and it truely seems to have eliminated the problem. Theres plenty of Caribou for everyone, but herding isnt hunting.




    "The 2010-11 system unduly restricted transporters and did not adequately address the stipulation to minimize the potential for conflicts with traditional subsistence users. To resolve these issues, the NPS will implement the following changes for the 2012-13 CUA’s:

    • The limits on the number of transporters and clients will be eliminated.
    • Commercial Transporter Visitor Services CUA holders will be authorized to transport non-federally qualified caribou hunters into the area west of the Kugururok River and Maiyumerak Mountains after September 15th unless authorized by the Superintendent to provide services before September 15th.
    • The Superintendent will consult with Commercial Transporter Visitor Services CUA holders, local villages and other agencies on a regular basis beginning on August 15 of each year to discuss the status of the caribou migration across the Noatak National Preserve.
    • The State of Alaska Noatak Controlled Use Area and pilots of private aircraft will be unaffected by these conditions (see map in PEPC file attachments). Holders of Commercial Transporter Visitor Service CUA’s will still be authorized to transport non-federally qualified caribou hunters east of the Kugururok River and Maiyumerak Mountains throughout the hunting season, without a restriction on dates or numbers of clients.

    Commercial Transporter Visitor Services for Dall Sheep and Moose sport hunters are not limited by the September 15 provision.
    The CUA’s will continue to include stipulations for transporter operations to protect wilderness values, visitor experience, and biological and cultural resources. The CUA stipulations will be reviewed by the Superintendent and revised as appropriate at the end of every year."


    I could be wrong, but the above Seems like MORE Hunting opportunitys arriving.

    It looks like, to me, that they are trying to let the first Caribou pass through by Septs beginning, when the reach the Noatak vally in early september , establishing trails of poop and piss that other Caribou will most definitly follow. These trails are especcially usefull for Caribou to move along safely and for Hunters to be able to intercept them. Any time after 9/15 there will be well established trails made by the lead bands of cows passing through , undisturbed at the rivers crossings, and ANY hunter, floating, walking, boating will have a good place to catch what they came for, prime Bulls. I look for caribou tracks on the rivers edge and when I find a 'ditch' where more than 50 have moved over, I wait and hunt that place, and my chances at catching a Caribou go up 99 percent. Bull arrive later, following the females south as rut approches in the beginning of Octocber and Caribou Bulls are banding up at the rear of the herds.
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Essentially NPS trumps BOG's authority to establish seasons and regulate hunting."

    That has been the biggest bone in the whole 'subsitance laws" fight between the state and the Feds. Even I cannot hunt under Fed regs there, and Im in the same Unit, and follow state laws and limits.


    "So if you have your own airplane it's not closed. IF you rely on a transporter to get you there....it's now closed by order of the Noatak Park Superintendent"

    Its been closed for alotta years, The no-fly is in effect Only if your a Caribou Hunter, even with your own plane and you dont want to boat up or float down or walk, and over 11,000 people access the preserve every year..
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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