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Thread: Sturgeon, Wilde and the State appeal decisions on waterway rights

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    Default Sturgeon, Wilde and the State appeal decisions on waterway rights

    It looks like both Sturgeon and Wilde lost their cases in Federal Court pretty recently. They have appealed and the State of AK has filed an appeal as well.

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_...a4bcf6878.html

    Just putting this out there since I haven't seen or heard anybody talking about this lately. It looks like more of the same bad news though.
    09 River Wild, 3 stages, LS power

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    For those who haven't heard the news. John Sturgeon's case against the National Park Service was accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court!! Just the fact that his case was accepted is probably a miracle but obviously the judges feel the case has merit and we have a good chance of finally pushing back against federal over reach. Here's a little history for those unfamiliar with the case.

    About ten years ago, along the Nation River in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Mr. Sturgeon was heading out for his annual moose hunt and had stopped to make a minor repair to his hovercraft. More importantly, Mr. Sturgeon was lawfully using a state-approved means of transportation on a state-owned waterway while engaged in a state-regulated activity. He was approached by armed National Park Service rangers and told to leave immediately and never return, as use of his hovercraft was banned by Service-wide regulations. The rangers and the Service’s Regional Supervisor threatened criminal sanctions should he return. His attempts to ascertain the logic and force of law behind this were carelessly avoided by federal officials. As such, Mr. Sturgeon filed suit in federal court in 2011, spending extraordinary sums of money, time and energy simply to reinstate the right of access he knew belonged to him and to us all.

    After two incomprehensible defeats at the U.S. District Court and 9th Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court has just granted Mr. Sturgeon’s petition for certiorari and the matter will be heard this term, with a decision expected next year. The odds that were overcome to arrive at this point are positively astonishing.

    In prohibiting Mr. Sturgeon from using his hovercraft on state lands in a preserve, and in demanding state agencies request a federal permit to do work on state lands in parks and preserves, the National Park Service has irreparably compromised decades of guarantees and promises to Alaska and its citizens. If this decision is allowed to stand, it could easily destroy both sovereign authorities and the economic value of over 19 million acres of state and private lands in Alaska by unjustifiably subjecting those lands to federal regulation, including lands received at statehood and as part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Even regulations that would be prohibited on adjacent federal lands could be applied to state and private lands. The U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding whether there is any way Congress intended for this to be the case.

    In the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), Congress gave Americans millions of acres of parklands and gave Alaskans a promise – that, even though federal lands would be managed pursuant to System-wide and unit-specific rulemaking, this authority could not be used on state and private lands. 16 U.S.C. §3103(c). Congress also reinforced the continuity of the “Alaskan lifestyle” and the sovereign rights and interests of the State of Alaska in the management of state lands and resources, including submerged lands and fish and game. Mr. Sturgeon’s case is the first time the U.S. Supreme Court will consider these critical provisions, and only the second time the Court has substantively addressed any provision in ANILCA.

    John Sturgeon is not a well-heeled NGO, industry, large corporation or resource manager. He has had help but, when he wins, he will not be fully compensated for his expenses; he will simply win back the rights he already had – the rights we all had. He is a hunter. He is an Alaskan. Lucky for us, he agreed to fight back, because the system that bullied him, and others like him, only exists through the hope no one has such selfless courage.

    Donations can and will be sent directly to Mr. Sturgeon’s attorneys at Ashburn & Mason, 1227 W. 9th Avenue, Suite 200, Anchorage, AK 99501. No one making or participating in this appeal to you will financially benefit; contributions will go directly to Mr. Sturgeon and/or his attorneys to offset or compensate for the litigation costs in the matter of Sturgeon v. Masica. Think of this like “crowd funding” but without any overhead costs or fees paid to fundraising administrators – 100% of the donation goes to litigation expenses, and a positive outcome in this case will bring immeasurable benefits to us all.

    As president of the Alaska Outdoor Access Alliance, we have raised funds each year to offset and support John's legal fees. This year I'm proud to say we raised and committed $13,000 to support John's legal battle. John needs to cover a final bill of $150K to see this through to the end. I will personally be donating donating $1000 and Alaska Frontier Fabrication will commit another $1000. It would be great to see other individuals and dealers step up and do the same. Consider this a challenge and lets help John make history.

    Best Regards and lets raise some money! A little bit of your PFD will go a long way to support our future access and state sovereignty.

    Moderators, how about making this a sticky for the next 90 days?

    Mel

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    ...John Sturgeon is not a well-heeled NGO, industry, large corporation or resource manager....
    Excuse me for being so bold, Mel, but since you're asking me to donate money, I feel compelled to inquire: Are we speaking of John L. Sturgeon who is/has been President, Koncor Forest Products; Member, Executive Committee of Alaska Resource Development Council; Member, AFA Board of Directors; President/CEO, Ouzinkie Native Corporation; Owner/President, Frontier Trading Company, LLC; CEO/President, Frontier Building Products Inc.; Advisory Cabinet Member, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences; etc.? The guy who has a law firm on retainer and can reach his attorney at will via sat phone from a sand bar in Yukon-Charley? The same individual who routinely makes political contributions which far and away exceed my monthly salary?

    Regardless of whether I agree with his/your cause, your characterization is, shall we say, off-putting.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Excuse me for being so bold, Mel, but since you're asking me to donate money, I feel compelled to inquire: Are we speaking of John L. Sturgeon who is/has been President, Koncor Forest Products; Member, Executive Committee of Alaska Resource Development Council; Member, AFA Board of Directors; President/CEO, Ouzinkie Native Corporation; Owner/President, Frontier Trading Company, LLC; CEO/President, Frontier Building Products Inc.; Advisory Cabinet Member, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences; etc.? The guy who has a law firm on retainer and can reach his attorney at will via sat phone from a sand bar in Yukon-Charley? The same individual who routinely makes political contributions which far and away exceed my monthly salary?

    Regardless of whether I agree with his/your cause, your characterization is, shall we say, off-putting.
    Since you obviously don't know John as I do, I won't excuse your lame attempt to characterize Mr. Sturgeon as though he's some multi-billionaire and therefore can just fund the legal battle himself to protect YOUR right's as an Alaskan on OUR navigable waterways. Yes, Mr. Sturgeon owns a logging company on Fognak Island and fortunately for Alaskan's had the guts and some savings to decide to fight this federal overreach. I know he's already spent over $100K out of his own pocket hoping he would win this case at the lower court level. Sadly the Feds won but not surprising given the make up of the 9th Circuit. The NPS is now sweating bullets because the US Supreme court obviously accepted this case. Legal advisors gave him a 2% chance of getting it heard out of over 1600 cases submitted. If excepted, they believe he's got a 70% chance of winning! John almost pulled the plugged but with encouragement and help to fund the future legal fees from AOAA and AOC, he pressed on. How does your accusation that he may make political contributions that may exceed your monthly salary excuse you from helping if you believe this issue will help Alaska fight the federal overreach that is so pervasive now. If you agree with his cause then support it financially or by whatever means you can that will make a difference. I'm sure you could spare the cost of a cup of coffee on you monthly salary. Every little be helps. Hiding under a rock and throwing stones doesn't help anything taiga. If we had elected leaders with some back bone years ago to fight the feds on issues such as this maybe we wouldn't have to count on private citizens to do their work for them.

    For those that would like to help you can make tax deductible contributions to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Fund and ear mark it for John's case. Visit alaskaoutdoorcouncil.org for more information.

    Mel

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Excuse
    me for being so bold, Mel, but since you're asking me to donate money, I feel
    compelled to inquire: Are we speaking of John L. Sturgeon who is/has been
    President, Koncor Forest Products; Member, Executive Committee of Alaska
    Resource Development Council; Member, AFA Board of Directors; President/CEO,
    Ouzinkie Native Corporation; Owner/President, Frontier Trading Company, LLC;
    CEO/President, Frontier Building Products Inc.; Advisory Cabinet Member,
    Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences; etc.? The guy who has a law
    firm on retainer and can reach his attorney at will via sat phone from a sand
    bar in Yukon-Charley? The same individual who routinely makes political
    contributions which far and away exceed my monthly salary?



    Regardless of whether I agree with his/your cause, your characterization is,
    shall we say, off-putting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    Since you obviously don't know John as I do, I won't excuse your lame attempt to characterize Mr. Sturgeon as though he's some multi-billionaire and therefore can just fund the legal battle himself to protect YOUR right's as an Alaskan on OUR navigable waterways. Yes, Mr. Sturgeon owns a logging company on Fognak Island and fortunately for Alaskan's had the guts and some savings to decide to fight this federal overreach. I know he's already spent over $100K out of his own pocket hoping he would win this case at the lower court level. Sadly the Feds won but not surprising given the make up of the 9th Circuit. The NPS is now sweating bullets because the US Supreme court obviously accepted this case. Legal advisors gave him a 2% chance of getting it heard out of over 1600 cases submitted. If excepted, they believe he's got a 70% chance of winning! John almost pulled the plugged but with encouragement and help to fund the future legal fees from AOAA and AOC, he pressed on. How does your accusation that he may make political contributions that may exceed your monthly salary excuse you from helping if you believe this issue will help Alaska fight the federal overreach that is so pervasive now. If you agree with his cause then support it financially or by whatever means you can that will make a difference. I'm sure you could spare the cost of a cup of coffee on you monthly salary. Every little be helps. Hiding under a rock and throwing stones doesn't help anything taiga. If we had elected leaders with some back bone years ago to fight the feds on issues such as this maybe we wouldn't have to count on private citizens to do their work for them.

    For those that would like to help you can make tax deductible contributions to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Fund and ear mark it for John's case. Visit alaskaoutdoorcouncil.org for more information.

    Mel

    You're a smart man Mel, and a well written reply to someone that only wants to pick a fight against the person and not the problem. Thanks for posting the information on a very important issue facing our State.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Mel, Thanks for posting this new info, its encouraging, I will do what I can to help support John on this.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  7. #7

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    Anybody die in any of these incidents? You talked about your "rights, armed rangers, sovereign, federal over reach" as if these guys really suffered from something. Why only go back 10 years? Let's go back 50, 100, 200 years and examine the over reach and loss of the rights of Alaska's original people. They lost much more than rights. Seems a bit trivial to be so concerned about a couple of boaters when so many other "rights" have not been restored.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armed_alaskan View Post
    You're a smart man Mel, and a well written reply to someone that only wants to pick a fight against the person and not the problem. Thanks for posting the information on a very important issue facing our State.
    You missed the mark. I wasn't looking for a fight at all.

    Here's another free bump for this thread, deserving it or not.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    You missed the mark. I wasn't looking for a fight at all.

    Here's another free bump for this thread, deserving it or not.
    I guess your finger in his eyeball was the mark, but yet again you poke.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armed_alaskan View Post
    but yet again you poke.
    ...Says you.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Quote Originally Posted by truesubsistence View Post
    Anybody die in any of these incidents? You talked about your "rights, armed rangers, sovereign, federal over reach" as if these guys really suffered from something.
    They suffered the right to access state lands and navigable waters. Nobody died! If you allow the Feds to set this presidence and ignore ANILCA natives corps risk being denied rights to develop or access in holdings within the NPS boundaries as well. A number of corps have filed amecus's suporting John for this very reason. The enviromentalist want to keep everyone out of the parks and preserves. They really don't care if you subsist or not. This issue reaches far beyond just stopping a long time Alaskan from hunting in an area he's hunted over the last thirty years. When left unchallenged with the NPS winning, they could use the case to further whittle away at denying more access. Time to nip it in the bud!

    Please support John with whatever means you can. This will probably be the only state case any of us reading this will see reach the Supreme Court in our lifetime. It's truly historic and exciting. Let's just hope John wins! If we lose, start kissing 50% of the state good bye.

    Any amount we muster will help! As a board member of AOC, I'm going to ask that any donation received be matched dollar for dollar. Your contribution can then be doubled. Let's see how much this forum can raise.

    Best regards!

  12. #12
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Certainly, an interesting case. Skeptical of the characterization of it however, and not ready to take sides. Please clarify:
    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    They suffered the right to access state lands and navigable waters. Nobody died!
    The point of this case revolves around the NPS regulation prohibiting the use of hovercraft, no? How does a prohibition of hovercraft constitute a "loss of access" (outside the specific context of hovercraft on the Nation River within Yukon-Charlie)? A broader loss of access doesn't seem to be the legal argument here. The argument seems to be specific to hovercraft(?), and only on the Nation River(?). So if there is any loss of access, it would only be loss of access via hovercraft on the Nation River within Yukon-Charley. No?

    If you allow the Feds to set this presidence and ignore ANILCA natives corps risk being denied rights to develop or access in holdings within the NPS boundaries as well.
    How so?

    A number of corps have filed amecus's suporting John for this very reason. The enviromentalist [sic] want to keep everyone out of the parks and preserves. They really don't care if you subsist or not.
    I don't believe any "environmentalists" are a party to this action(?). Please provide citation.

    This issue reaches far beyond just stopping a long time Alaskan from hunting in an area he's hunted over the last thirty years.
    Is length of residency or preexisting condition relevant to this case? If so, how?

    http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/vi...vid=0000006542

    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content...0/13-36165.pdf
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    There are many better places to spend your money.

    One of the best road accessible areas to harvest a caribou is the Dalton Hwy. corridor north of the Yukon River. An area some 10 miles wide by 350 miles long closed to off road use summer and winter. Why? Because industry wants it that way. The State (not the Feds) could easily open up its lands to off road use (snow machines) in the winter with virtually no environmental impact but won't do it because of pressure from the industry.

    Also, I wouldn't spend a penny to defend a jerk like Wilde who's giant ego got in the way of him stopping to allow a simple boating safety check. Had he simply stopped as directed by L.E. and allowed the check, he'd be on his way with little or no consequence. I'd prefer to see him do jail time for resisting arrest.



    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    They suffered the right to access state lands and navigable waters. Nobody died! If you allow the Feds to set this presidence and ignore ANILCA natives corps risk being denied rights to develop or access in holdings within the NPS boundaries as well. A number of corps have filed amecus's suporting John for this very reason. The enviromentalist want to keep everyone out of the parks and preserves. They really don't care if you subsist or not. This issue reaches far beyond just stopping a long time Alaskan from hunting in an area he's hunted over the last thirty years. When left unchallenged with the NPS winning, they could use the case to further whittle away at denying more access. Time to nip it in the bud!

    Please support John with whatever means you can. This will probably be the only state case any of us reading this will see reach the Supreme Court in our lifetime. It's truly historic and exciting. Let's just hope John wins! If we lose, start kissing 50% of the state good bye.

    Any amount we muster will help! As a board member of AOC, I'm going to ask that any donation received be matched dollar for dollar. Your contribution can then be doubled. Let's see how much this forum can raise.

    Best regards!

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    Quote Originally Posted by truesubsistence View Post
    Also, I wouldn't spend a penny to defend a jerk like Wilde who's giant ego got in the way of him stopping to allow a simple boating safety check. Had he simply stopped as directed by L.E. and allowed the check, he'd be on his way with little or no consequence. I'd prefer to see him do jail time for resisting arrest.
    The Sturgeon, case has nothing to do with the Wild case. Sorry if the old post I brought back up has confused you. NPS officials simply told him he couldn't run his hovercraft, on NPS boundaries. They applied a rule that was created along the Potomac River in DC and applied it nationwide. John had be running his craft there long before they rule. What's to stop them from just banning all motorized marine access in the future? There's currently a noise decibel level that can't be exceeded I believe in NPS. Although not enforced, (Yet) a NPS L.E. could ban you from the river if your motor boat is making too much noise on the river.

    BTW I agree with you about access along the Dalton but it has nothing to do with the feds. That issue is a state issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    There's currently a noise decibel level that can't be exceeded I believe in NPS. Although not enforced, (Yet) a NPS L.E. could ban you from the river if your motor boat is making too much noise on the river.
    You are absolutely right about that, its in the regs, regs that were meant for the lower 48 IMO, if this reg was enforced it would make the use of most sport jet powered boats illegal... anyone in doubt should take the time to read the federal regulations regarding the NPS..... plan on having some time to do so. There are plenty, you can start here.. http://www.nps.gov/akso/management/regulations.cfm

    This is certainly about federal overreach on state designated navigable waters.

    Wilde was likely plenty crusty with the rangers, so they pointed a shotgun at him and rolled him around in the mud..... yes a real threat at 75 years old...
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Wilde was likely plenty crusty with the rangers, so they pointed a shotgun at him and rolled him around in the mud..... yes a real threat at 75 years old...
    Whether Wilde was 55 or 75 years old, that has very little to do with assessing whether or not he was a threat. He got muddy......OMG. It was his stupidity, pure and simple, that landed him in jail. Even At 75 yoa he obviously didn't possess the maturity and common sense needed to avoid the confrontation.

  17. #17

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    [QUOTE=Akgramps;1508067]This is certainly about federal overreach on state designated navigable waters. [/QUOTE)

    Akgramps,

    You gonna step up to the plate and start advocating for every other "overreach" the Feds and State engaged in too? Why not start with returning the lands beneath Prudhoe Bay to the people who owned it. It was only a generation ago that the State claimed those lands as their own. Interesting how we all ***** about the Feds when many of the real "rights violations" were/are the result of State overreach.

  18. #18

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    [QUOTE=truesubsistence;1508108]
    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    This is certainly about federal overreach on state designated navigable waters. [/QUOTE)

    Akgramps,

    You gonna step up to the plate and start advocating for every other "overreach" the Feds and State engaged in too? Why not start with returning the lands beneath Prudhoe Bay to the people who owned it. It was only a generation ago that the State claimed those lands as their own. Interesting how we all ***** about the Feds when many of the real "rights violations" were/are the result of State overreach.
    What people other then the citizens of Alaska under public trust owned the land beneath Prudhoe Bay? Just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truesubsistence View Post
    Whether Wilde was 55 or 75 years old, that has very little to do with assessing whether or not he was a threat. He got muddy......OMG. It was his stupidity, pure and simple, that landed him in jail. Even At 75 yoa he obviously didn't possess the maturity and common sense needed to avoid the confrontation.

    So.... you were there...?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    So.... you were there...?
    None of us were there, and yet many of us seem to have formed opinions of what happened based upon what someone else told us. And/or, we bring preconceived emotional biases to the table and use the case to reinforce those biases, however irrational they my be, and regardless of what actually happened.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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