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Thread: Proposed Kasilof Beach Parking Lot - Resource Management Big Yellow Taxi Style

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    Default Proposed Kasilof Beach Parking Lot - Resource Management Big Yellow Taxi Style

    I think of that Joni Mitchell song every time DNR comes up with a plan to deal with increasing participation on our rivers...

    Anyone who spent time at the Kasilof river mouth this year knows it was a new level of crazy during PU season. Lots of people and no organization or rules. Rather than proposing some simple solutions to dial down the madness, DNR is proposing a huge new parking lot. I'm not categorically opposed to this sort of thing - far from it, but think there are much more cost-effective and responsible solutions which should be employed first. Unfortunately, new rules don't have the same appeal as parking lots.

    I noticed in the rendering of the new parking lots there was an awful lot of boat and trailer parking. Are they planning a boat launch as well? Is the state also going to improve the road, or are residents there going to again be forced to deal with more traffic on the same pothole-filled dirt road? Is camping going to be allowed wherever one wants as it is now? Are atv's going to be restricted since they are more hindering than useful in this fishery? These are my questions...

    The North Side site concept plan is in a review period now through November 30th.

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/kasilof/

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    No fee station?

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    They charge a dollar and a half to see the trees...😂

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    I would hope regardless of whether you are a PU,sport, commercial, or subsistence fisherman people will send comments to DNR on this project and demand that they respect and honor their commitment to the public when the special use area was created. I and others who support the creation of the use area took DNR at their word that any development would involve a full and open discussion, the formation of a management plan, and regulations before any development took place. We fought with our friends and neighbors who said do not trust DNR. Well, my friends you were correct. DNR has violated that trust and put this out without any public hearings, any discussion of any use patterns or conflict resolution with other users - nothing.

    So here are my concerns and comments. First, the foot print is too large. A small 25 space parking lot for year round use is consistent with other users and resources. For example, 10's of thousands of shorebirds use the mudflats and area in May. Having a large campground and 40 foot road access to the beach during this time period is a significant impact. A smaller footprint at the mouth is more consistent with these resources.

    Relative to the Personal Use Fishery there needs to be some discussion of growth and limits. If 315 parking spots are needed then an upland parking area is a better alternative that is open only in mid-June to the end of July. That takes care of the PU fishery and is consistent with other users.

    Lack of regulations. Right now DNR has no plan to manage this area for impacts thousands of people can create. At the mouth of the Kenai the City of Kenai picked up the mess the State created at a cost of 400,000. The Division of DNR holding this property does not have regulatory authority like a State Park. So they are going to build this then look to someone else to pick up the mess.

    Next, this type of growth has had no discussion relative to the existing sport fisheries on the Kasilof. Will this parking lot in May and June increase boat use of the Kasilof early run chinook fishery and impact on guides and local anglers?

    DNR needs to hear from people on these issues and from what I hear they are hell bent to build this thing. They had survey teams down there last week when I was down there so they are not even waiting for comments.

    So contact our local representatives and make DNR keep their promise to provide for public help in development of a management plan.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Eh...I could care less what they do on the north side...long as they dont mess with my south side....got a business plan to bring in pay outhouses, buck a poo....come to think of it, a macaroni salad stand could do pretty well, too!
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I would hope regardless of whether you are a PU,sport, commercial, or subsistence fisherman people will send comments to DNR on this project and demand that they respect and honor their commitment to the public when the special use area was created. I and others who support the creation of the use area took DNR at their word that any development would involve a full and open discussion, the formation of a management plan, and regulations before any development took place. We fought with our friends and neighbors who said do not trust DNR. Well, my friends you were correct. DNR has violated that trust and put this out without any public hearings, any discussion of any use patterns or conflict resolution with other users - nothing.

    So here are my concerns and comments. First, the foot print is too large. A small 25 space parking lot for year round use is consistent with other users and resources. For example, 10's of thousands of shorebirds use the mudflats and area in May. Having a large campground and 40 foot road access to the beach during this time period is a significant impact. A smaller footprint at the mouth is more consistent with these resources.

    Relative to the Personal Use Fishery there needs to be some discussion of growth and limits. If 315 parking spots are needed then an upland parking area is a better alternative that is open only in mid-June to the end of July. That takes care of the PU fishery and is consistent with other users.

    Lack of regulations. Right now DNR has no plan to manage this area for impacts thousands of people can create. At the mouth of the Kenai the City of Kenai picked up the mess the State created at a cost of 400,000. The Division of DNR holding this property does not have regulatory authority like a State Park. So they are going to build this then look to someone else to pick up the mess.

    Next, this type of growth has had no discussion relative to the existing sport fisheries on the Kasilof. Will this parking lot in May and June increase boat use of the Kasilof early run chinook fishery and impact on guides and local anglers?

    DNR needs to hear from people on these issues and from what I hear they are hell bent to build this thing. They had survey teams down there last week when I was down there so they are not even waiting for comments.

    So contact our local representatives and make DNR keep their promise to provide for public help in development of a management plan.
    Not to distract from the point that people should contact DNR to voice input; but, who's pushing it? DNR doesn't come up with crackpot ideas to build parking lots by themselves.
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    "They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot" - J. Mitchell, 1970.

    Absolute correct TB. The Kasilof Rv might not be paradise, but they ARE putting up a parking lot on a fairly pristine salmon river in a semi-wild part of Alaska. They're doing that (likely) because they can get money for a parking lot, through transportation funding from gasoline taxes. They probably can't get money for the non-structural alternatives that you're suggesting.

  9. #9

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    I'm not against improvements down there, but a Walmart -sized parking lot exclusively for the PU fishery (which will likely be gated closed 9 months of the year) does not fit the area and is not IMO an improvement. While it MAY ease pressure on the dunes and other sensitive areas, it won't without some proper planning, and given that it will encourage more people to use this resource, could actually increase pressure/destruction. Now there will be room for the Tahoe, 4 place ATV trailer, AND the Motorhome.

    I get tired of seeing these "improvements" only to see my access restricted by a big iron gate most of the year since these "improved" facilities are too costly to maintain year-round. Heck, we have to pee in the woods on the trip to Anchorage now in the winter. Luckily I like the woods.

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    I have to agree with u, Smith. Most of the time the 'improvements' can not be funded enough in the future to maintain the infrastructure they built and the facilities are rarely available for use and also turn into crapholes.
    I say don't build any major infrastructure that would only degrade the area more quickly. Perhaps some bathroom facilities would be in order but only if they are going to be bombproof and maintained.
    Nerka.... Now maybe you see why people distrust govt. They too often flat out lie.
    cdubbin.... If u are gonna charge a buck a poo, I would change that macaroni stand to a bean soup stand. Increase your revenues on both ends, so to speak.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    I have to agree with u, Smith. Most of the time the 'improvements' can not be funded enough in the future to maintain the infrastructure they built and the facilities are rarely available for use and also turn into crapholes.
    I say don't build any major infrastructure that would only degrade the area more quickly. Perhaps some bathroom facilities would be in order but only if they are going to be bombproof and maintained.
    Nerka.... Now maybe you see why people distrust govt. They too often flat out lie.
    cdubbin.... If u are gonna charge a buck a poo, I would change that macaroni stand to a bean soup stand. Increase your revenues on both ends, so to speak.
    Interesting that you mention bathroom facilities - if I read the proposal right, this plan simply includes a space for more porta-potties.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Prohibit camping on either side of mouth during dip netting season. All that area could be for parking only. Enterprising individuals can run campgrounds elsewhere, run shuttles and/or get people's vehicles unstuck from the loose sand. Enough Kasilof abuse already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    The Kasilof Rv might not be paradise, but they ARE putting up a parking lot on a fairly pristine salmon river in a semi-wild part of Alaska.
    Sorry, but it's hard for me to think of it as even "semi" wild nowadays.

    Bout the only time it may be semi wild is in the middle of winter.....imo
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Sorry, but it's hard for me to think of it as even "semi" wild nowadays.

    Bout the only time it may be semi wild is in the middle of winter.....imo
    Yeppers...north side is ALREADY a parking lot, albeit a complete free for all, where folks hammer the dunes/berms in an attempt to park close to the riv. A parking lot that delineates a less sensitive area and has a cap on parking is a better idea. Usually I am the one beating my drum on these forums about development bad, nature good... but I dont think that dog will hunt in this case. K beach is a residential area, and there's a fish processing plant just a stone's throw away...not exactly wild. The state spending dollars in order for residents to get out and harvest wild, sustainable food for themselves is just the kind of project I CAN support.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Yeppers...north side is ALREADY a parking lot, albeit a complete free for all, where folks hammer the dunes/berms in an attempt to park close to the riv. A parking lot that delineates a less sensitive area and has a cap on parking is a better idea. Usually I am the one beating my drum on these forums about development bad, nature good... but I dont think that dog will hunt in this case. K beach is a residential area, and there's a fish processing plant just a stone's throw away...not exactly wild. The state spending dollars in order for residents to get out and harvest wild, sustainable food for themselves is just the kind of project I CAN support.
    Fair enough and I get it. It's way past time for a better plan/parking/facilities down there, but this one is over the top size-wise, especially given the lack of willpower to manage this fishery appropriately. This isn't a facility which will benefit all river users - it is exclusive to the PU fishery.

    Will there be a cap on parking? Wouldn't that require rules and enforcement? Not being sarcastic - I really don't know...

    The dunes aren't being destroyed because the facilities are inadequate. They are being destroyed because some people are idiots and there aren't any rules down there. The biggest parking lot in the world won't change that.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Prohibit camping on either side of mouth during dip netting season. All that area could be for parking only. Enterprising individuals can run campgrounds elsewhere, run shuttles and/or get people's vehicles unstuck from the loose sand. Enough Kasilof abuse already.
    I'm with you on this one. Great idea!
    I don't yet have an opinion on this parking lot but something needs to be done down there.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    The parking lot is not the problem in mid-June to the end of the dip net season. It is open from breakup to freeze up and during May and August and September thousands of shorebirds migrate and use the mudflats and surrounding wetlands for feeding and resting. It is an internationally recognized important bird area. However, DNR has no plan to restrict use during these critical times. In fact they do not have the regulatory authority under the Division that owns the lands to even write regulations. Also, there are State lands up the road that are on uplands that could be for the PU parking. People could take there stuff down to the beach and then park upland. This is what he city of Kenai does at the end of Spruce Street. The main parking is up the hill. DNR has provided no opportunity to even discuss these options or concerns. I would just like people to tell DNR that they should have public meetings and take input, write a management plan, outline the costs of operation in the future, and then go ahead with building what those discussions bring. I believe they are creating a mess here with significant impacts to other species. Just for the record some of the birds using the area are threatened and endangered and if adversely impact could impact development in other areas of the State. So far DNR has shown no willingness to deal with that probability.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    but something needs to be done down there.
    Yeah, like closing the whole mess down UNTIL they get a handle on it...!!!

    I know, I know...... I'm hopeless
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I am hearing that DNR is not very open to discussions or even having a public meeting to discuss this project. It is frustrating but maybe if enough people comment with a short email saying a management plan needs to be completed before building this large of project will get their attention. I really believe the conflicts can be solved and make this a win/win if DNR would just be open to some new ideas.

    The Kenai dip net report just came out and the cost of dealing with thousands of people is nearly 500,000 dollars. I wonder how much DNR has budgeted for this new parking lot and where is that money coming from. I do not see new money coming out of the State.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    . DNR has provided no opportunity to even discuss these options or concerns. .



    A site concept plan has been developed using comments received during the 2010 public process for the Final KARSUA Decision.
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/kasilof/pd...ents3-1-11.pdf

    45 day review period beginning October 15, 2015 through November 30, 2015 and can be viewed at: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/kasilof/. Any questions about this project or how to submit suggestions or ideas to improve the site concept plan
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