In the first Instance- It's National Forest, Community Grant. I don't bait, not sure on the rules; but that should be public land.
In the Second, that is a patented land/mining claim. Meaning the feds have given the individual exclusive rights to the minerals and usually the surface, effectively conveying the title, thus making it private land. So no, without permission you could not bait there.
If however it was not patented and was only a claim; then the individual only has rights for mineral extraction so in my understanding it would be legal; if ill-advised, to bait there.
I'm guessing the Case Status means that the patent hasn't been fully enacted; so perhaps you might have some legal ground to stand on there. I am unsure on that, personally I wouldn't risk it.
That's my take anyway.
I compare invasive species to children. Both can be prevented with rubber.
I'm not sure about your GPS language. There are only a couple patented mining claims (fee simple: private lands) on the Kenai so I doubt what you are looking at is patented (one is around mid-40's (west side) Seward Highway and one is up Res Creek). So if it is National Forest and you are far enough from highways, campgrounds etc. you should be good to go. You have surface use available to you on an unpatented mining claim just so you don't interfer with any operations that may (or may not be) occurring.
If you want to discuss with the Chugach's mining geologist, you can call him at 288-7723 but I'll tell you the same thing on the phone ; ^ )
Thank you so much for the replies. I ended up going over everything I had (printed out everything and did a bunch of googling) with the wildlife trooper I was directed to. I also talked to some fish and game types and researched the purpose of the land and it's ownership.
It is National Forest land that is "given" to the state for use. The state says that the area is for mining and recreation. The state does issue non-patented mining permits in the area but no active ones are near where I have been looking.
Through hiking and internet imaging resources I have been unable to find any structures within a mile. Frankly, I'd be surprised if anyone was allowed to build anything in this area. Also, there are no trails or roads off the seward highway for a few miles each direction from where I'm bushwacking in.
Spot is 0.4 from the highway.
Per everybody I've talked to, it's legal. I'm going to go with it and see if I can get in a little late here.
Thanks again for the information.
Good luck out there.
Good luck to you, too! You're in prime time now. Get lots of scent out!