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Thread: PUBLIC MEETING - Cottonwood Creek Trail (Palmer Hay Flats) 4/16 & 4/22

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    Default PUBLIC MEETING - Cottonwood Creek Trail (Palmer Hay Flats) 4/16 & 4/22

    Please come to a public meeting hosted by the
    Alaska Department of Fish and Game to discuss use,
    concerns, and management options for the Cottonwood
    Creek ATV Trail in the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge.

    Anchorage: April 13, 6 pm
    Loussac Library Public Conference Room (bottom floor),
    3600 Denali Street

    Palmer: April 22, 2015, 7 pm
    Mat-Su College, Fred & Sara Machetanz Building, Room
    205; 8295 East College Drive

  2. #2
    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Did anybody go to this? If so, what was discussed?
    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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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    i plan on being at the meeting on the 22nd, hope a lot of you come out also. preparing a statement now. Bud
    Wasilla

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    How do they 'manage' it now? Sounds like the mud holes on this trail could eat an entire wheeler.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Bud, I really wish I was there for this meeting. Cottonwood creek is a place that is near and dear to my heart. I had hunted out there for years before I got sent to this lousy place.

    Bakerra2, You're not supposed to have any machines in there over 1000 lbs GVW. This however has caused the guys who normally would have gone in in side by sides to switch over to quads with big aggressive tires, so there are more machines making deeper ruts. It got so bad the last time I hunted it that I just decided the heck with it and started hunting with Duckhunter01 over in Duck Lake.

    I used to be a guy that was all for the ATV use out there, but after the last time I walked the trail after work to just jump shoot a couple ponds before it got dark, I'm against it. I stepped into one rut and sank up to my waist, plus you can see the areas the water has drained out. It used to be a lot wetter after the first mile going in, but a lot of the areas where we used to get stuck are bone dry now, and a couple of the little holes that used to hold a teal or two are dry. I've seen the aerial photos of the draining, I was a skeptic at first, but I believe what they're saying now after it was explained to me.

    Honestly, the year they closed to the place down to ATV use was the greatest duck season I ever had out there. We had numerous days were we were limited out in under 2 hours, we had times he had trouble keeping our guns loaded because the birds were coming in that fast. When we got to the back area we were jumping flocks of 100 plus birds. You just had to be willing to walk a ways to get into the good shooting.

    I know that this is not the popular opinion with most of the guys using the area, but if the marsh keeps draining there won't be any duck hunting in the area in the next decade or so. If they could harden the trail through the first mile it would fix a lot of the problems, however I'm sure this would be a very expensive option. Also it would create a big crowding issue, because those mud holes are what keeps a lot of the other guys from going out there.
    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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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    I did see AST out there last year with a sting setup to catch ATV's outside the marked trail. I'm just not buying it though, I used to hunt just off the end of the airstrip in birchwood down on the little section of marsh there. No atv's in there, and that section of marsh had eroded 50 yards give or take in the 7 years or so I hunted it. The tide was doing that. I believe the water brought in from the tide may flow back out on the ATV trail. I just don't see how it could drain the ponds unless the trail somehow connected them in a some way keeping proper grade back to the ocean. I think I will attend the 22nd.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK375HH View Post
    I did see AST out there last year with a sting setup to catch ATV's outside the marked trail. I'm just not buying it though, I used to hunt just off the end of the airstrip in birchwood down on the little section of marsh there. No atv's in there, and that section of marsh had eroded 50 yards give or take in the 7 years or so I hunted it. The tide was doing that. I believe the water brought in from the tide may flow back out on the ATV trail. I just don't see how it could drain the ponds unless the trail somehow connected them in a some way keeping proper grade back to the ocean. I think I will attend the 22nd.
    Yeah the trail was there,then the gut worked it's way to the trail. With every super high tide 31+ foot you lose more and more. The trails not helping but it didn't cause the problem,trail/Gut just crossed paths. Only thing that will stop it now is some sort of dike and that would eventually get eaten as well. They could shut it down right now and the gut will keep moving back into the swamp. On the plus side with every max tide it pushes water back into the marsh. The same thing is happening on Duck Lake anyone who has hunted the spot referred to as can point on a max tide will notice silty water around the point. If you follow the channel that goes back towards the trees it gets real skinny at the highest point but the gut on the lower end is working it's way. You can see it on G-Maps it connects down below where the Knik and Matanuska rivers join.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    And no I can't make the meeting I'm working.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Did anybody make the Palmer meeting? If so what was discussed?
    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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