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Thread: Meeting to discuss the Palmer Hayflats

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    Member DownEastah's Avatar
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    Default Meeting to discuss the Palmer Hayflats

    Hi, Everyone

    Duck hunter James McPhee, representing himself and other duck hunters concerned about the PHF wetlands habitat drainage and degradation, has contacted APH through me. Additionally, he has had conversations with Tom Rothe, Joe Meehan, Doug Hill and other management level personnel at ADF&G. I suggested to him, with Joe’s concurrence, that those who share his concerns and have viewpoints and advice to offer which would be of value, should all get together and talk about pathways to solutions. This is a great opportunity to broaden APH’s and ADF&G’s mission of habitat stewardship.

    Very briefly, here’s what everyone brings to the table

    James McPhee waterfowl hunter
    Herman Griese retired wildlife biologist, APH board member
    Tom Rothe retired wildlife biologist
    Nathaniel Emery wildlife biologist
    Wayne Bowman retired, APH dedicated volunteer and habitat advocate
    Bob Neubauer founding APH board member and habitat advocate
    Lisa Jaeger/Terry Boyle hunters, fishers, outdoor enthusiasts, previous APH board member, volunteers, strong habitat advocates
    Joe Meehan Director, Lands & Refuge Program, ADF&G
    Doug Hill Palmer Hay Flats Refuge Manager, ADF&G

    In checking with Joe Meehan’s schedule, considering he will be out of town from 4/19 – 4/29, following are options for a meeting:

    Tuesday, April 16th 6:30 p.m.
    Tuesday, May 7th 6:30 p.m.
    Thursday, May 9th 6:30 p.m.
    Place TBD

    If you could RSVP with preferred date, I’d appreciate it. Also, if you’re not interested, I’d like to know also, and I’ll take you off the list.

    Thanks, so much, for all you individually do for this incredible, important habitat!

    This was from Kris Abshire, President
    Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge, Inc.


    Lots of key people will be at this meeting, alot of people that help voice our views.
    Please Email me if your interested in attending, j.mcphee@live.com

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    I'm in favor of the meeting, think it might bring some constructive ideas for improvement that are also realistic. Would like to see all those attending put some thought into what we can do to improve the habitat. Bud
    Wasilla

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    I would like to go to this meeting as well, May 7th would be the best time for me.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
    I am a shoveler's worst nightmare!

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    Meeting Confirmation:

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013
    6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    Matanuska Telephone Assoc.
    Palmer Headquarters Office
    480 Commercial Drive
    Palmer

    Directions:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

    The building has an after-hours separate entry with elevator to the basement where the public rooms are.
    Note: A “name” was required to reserve the room, so I randomly indicated “Waterfowl Wetlanders”.

    Any questions, just let me know.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be happy to make up a brief agenda, so please send specifics you may have which you feel should be covered so we don’t stray too far into friendly, unrelated discussion.

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    Excellent, I will be there!!
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

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    Well crap, that counts me out, working night shift that night. Please let me know what transpires in the meeting.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
    I am a shoveler's worst nightmare!

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    Default Meeting Tonight

    Bump, hope to see anyone interested in preserving the hayflats for future generations of outdoorsman, at the meeting tonight.
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

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    Ill be there

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    Does anybody have a copy of the Agenda for the meeting? Are there specific things we will be discussing and in what order they will be discussed? Who will chair the meeting? See you there. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Member PG13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    Does anybody have a copy of the Agenda for the meeting? Are there specific things we will be discussing and in what order they will be discussed? Who will chair the meeting? See you there. Bud
    ADFG will be leading the conversation. I emailed Joe this morning but failed to ask about the itinerary. I'm probably not going to be able to make it in person but may try to be a fly on the wall.
    Go Big Red!

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    Sorry guys... Was at work till 8:00... Did anything meaningful come out of the meeting...

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    I won't say there was anything meaningfull, in regards to decisions made, that was not done. Some of us from the forum expressed opinions about use of atv's on cottonwood creek trail, opinions ranged from closing to atv, to closing atv until trail was repared, hardened and could be used without damaging wetlands. Most important was opinion of everybody, that the wetlands come first and had to be protected. Joe talked a bit about some of the pressure from "higher up" he has had in the past, atv groups demanding that the trail be kept open, etc. A lot more people involved with this then just the few duck hunters that were presant and APH that were presant. A lot of politics here. Kris basically said that some of our "rights" to use atv's, may have to be sacraficed to meet our "responsibilities" for protecting the wetlands. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Originally I was for re routing the trail and enforcing it with geo block and all that bit. After looking and discussing it at the meeting i don't think there should be atv traffic out there. The plans for a new trail and new bridge in my opinion will not work. Thank you to all that attended I appreciate your time and energy. My cell is 250 1917 if you would like to discuss it. I would like to hear views from all parties and opinions.


    James McPhee

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    James

    Can you please explain why you changed your mind and how the material presented at the meeting helped in that change.

    Thanks

    Hugh

    Quote Originally Posted by DEMainah View Post
    Originally I was for re routing the trail and enforcing it with geo block and all that bit. After looking and discussing it at the meeting i don't think there should be atv traffic out there. The plans for a new trail and new bridge in my opinion will not work. Thank you to all that attended I appreciate your time and energy. My cell is 250 1917 if you would like to discuss it. I would like to hear views from all parties and opinions.


    James McPhee
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    No matter what trail is put in, people will not stay on them. The tide gut is following the trail the atv's have created.

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    I wholeheartedly disagree! The people will stay on the trail if the trail is hardened. They only stray from the trail in the mud holes. If you follow the trail out, the mudholes have a wide trail, but once you get past them it's two ruts from the quad tracks all the way to the end. Darn I wish I was able to go to this meeting, I know every nook and cranny of that trail and could have testified to that. Most of us stay on the trail anyway, it's a small few that go off of it. You just have to get off the machine and walk through the holes and find a good line.

    I'm fine with walking out, it won't stop me from getting birds, but will definitely put a lot more pressure on DL and Maud road. Lets face it, a lot of guys aren't willing to slog 3-5 miles through the marsh for 8 birds. They are probably going to sell those ATVs and buy boats, or just buy boats. Get ready for a lot more company in other areas. I know a couple of guys who are already doing exactly that.

    If they do shut the area down to ATVs I wonder if they can create another foot access point in the middle so we can keep those birds moving between Cottonwood, DL and Maud.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
    I am a shoveler's worst nightmare!

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    I wholeheartedly disagree! The people will stay on the trail if the trail is hardened. They only stray from the trail in the mud holes. If you follow the trail out, the mudholes have a wide trail, but once you get past them it's two ruts from the quad tracks all the way to the end. Darn I wish I was able to go to this meeting, I know every nook and cranny of that trail and could have testified to that. Most of us stay on the trail anyway, it's a small few that go off of it. You just have to get off the machine and walk through the holes and find a good line.

    I'm fine with walking out, it won't stop me from getting birds, but will definitely put a lot more pressure on DL and Maud road. Lets face it, a lot of guys aren't willing to slog 3-5 miles through the marsh for 8 birds. They are probably going to sell those ATVs and buy boats, or just buy boats. Get ready for a lot more company in other areas. I know a couple of guys who are already doing exactly that.

    If they do shut the area down to ATVs I wonder if they can create another foot access point in the middle so we can keep those birds moving between Cottonwood, DL and Maud.
    I wish you could of been there too, have you seen the pictures of the tide gut? If more boat traffic is what happens than so be it, this area can support it.

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    RECAP and ATTENDEE LIST
    MEETING TO DISCUSS HABITAT DEGRADATION
    PALMER HAY FLATS STATE GAME REFUGE


    Initiated by James McPhee, a meeting of concerned waterfowl hunters, staff from Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), representatives from Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge, Inc. (APH) was held on April 16, 2013. Notice of the meeting was posted on the Waterfowl Hunting Outdoor Forum.

    Concerns were expressed by James and others regarding the degradation and potential loss of waterfowl habitat. Of particular concern were tidal guts and the impact of ATV traffic left behind after the fall hunting season. Questions were raised to Joe Meehan, ADF&G Refuge Program Director and Doug Hill, Refuge Manager, regarding solutions. Joe Meehan, presented slides from a hydrological assessment document (provided to all), showing examples of naturally occurring tidal guts and ATV trail damage in waterfowl hunting grounds area of the refuge.

    Discussion focused on the following:
    Inevitable erosion and potential drainage of waterfowl habitat due to
    natural forces of tides and weather
    Problematic potential that ATV traffic during hunting season will
    exacerbate the situation
    Possible solutions such as re-routing the ATV trail, temporarily or permanently
    eliminating ATV use
    Wasilla

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