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Thread: Mining gravel/sand from Montana Creek

  1. #41
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Huh....but I read on the internet that we live under the thumb of a tyrannical deep state that controls every facet of our lives...weird....
    Just couldn't help yourself could ya?










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  2. #42
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    Been my experience that the Corps could care less if it’s material extraction. Now if it’s a fill operation, then they get a little excited. You may find out otherwise though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    Been my experience that the Corps could care less if it’s material extraction. Now if it’s a fill operation, then they get a little excited. You may find out otherwise though.
    We'll find out next week or the following when they come out. Will post update with what they say and if I hear from anyone else

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    Update:

    Meeting 2 Corps personnel and 1 person from EPA this Thursday. Sounds like they're serious.

    Wonder if they read this forum...

    Still no word from any state or borough agencies.

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    Corps and EPA people were very nice and interested in the situation. I was impressed. Sounds like they will pursue it with respect to any violations that fall under their jurisdiction. Going forward they won't be able to share information with me, which is understandable. I don't need to be involved...just wanted to bring it to their attention. I suspect some state agencies are looking into it, but simply can't share information with John Doe of the public (me), which is also understandable.

  6. #46
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    They should be able to share whatever information is already available to the public. For example, if this activity is already permitted, that information can be shared with you, and anyone else. They can also indicate whether, or not, they have any record of a permit being requested for this activity

    If there is no such permit request, that may NOT make the activity "suspect", since that would take more investigation. But they should be able to tell you what information is already in the public domain.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    They should be able to share whatever information is already available to the public. For example, if this activity is already permitted, that information can be shared with you, and anyone else. They can also indicate whether, or not, they have any record of a permit being requested for this activity

    If there is no such permit request, that may NOT make the activity "suspect", since that would take more investigation. But they should be able to tell you what information is already in the public domain.
    Corps and EPA people said there were no permits for the stuff they regulate, which tells me the guy has no permits for any of it.

    Would make no sense for the guy to get some sort of state permits and then ignore the most obvious required permit of all which would come from the Corps. The main activity this guy did is the absolute definition of a Clean Water Act Section 404 violation. He dredged material from the creek bed, placed material in the creek bed, and placed large tree debris (generated by him) in the creek bed. If that's not a CWA violation, nothing is. Course, then you have umpteen other federal and state laws which were probably violated.

    Also, any sort of permit for this activity would require some sort of description of what was to take place and how the permittee plans to minimize environmental impact. For example, no agency would grant a permit for someone to pile a few hundred cubic yards of sand and small gravel on a previously-vegetated and highly susceptible-to-erosion stream bank without requiring major erosion control measures. Also no agency would allow a permittee to cut upland trees and pile them down in a stream bed. Not to mention, it's a sensitive anadromous stream....so sensitive in fact, that that portion of the stream is catch and release only and single hook only (for all species). Just no way any of it was permitted. I can assure anyone that this situation is a case of someone who is either ignorant of the law and ignorant of basic environmental science or someone who just doesn't give a **** about their impact on the environment and their fellow citizens.

    I'm hoping somebody makes the guy at least restore the 2 sections of bank that he destroyed. Probably the worst of what the guy did is cut 2 separate large openings in the stream bank in order to get equipment and a dump truck down into the stream bed. These banks were much higher than the waterline, so required the removal of a lot of material (and all the existing vegetation) to make 'ramps' down into the bed. I actually measured all of the excavated areas and the estimated material volume removed or moved at or below the ordinary high water mark is around 600 cubic yards. Anyway, next big flood on Montana Creek is going to erode the **** out of the areas around those two access points he cut, and given the location and topography right now, they could easily cause the creek to drastically shift directions.

    So, if this guy does get away with this, or gets some bull**** like an "after the fact permit" (which is a thing), then why doesn't everyone in the state who wants some free gravel just bring an excavator to Montana creek and load up?

    Again, gotta say I was really impressed with the Corps and EPA people who I met with. Very sharp, very concerned, very knowledgeable, and overall just seemed like really good people.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanfarmer View Post
    Corps and EPA people said there were no permits for the stuff they regulate, which tells me the guy has no permits for any of it.

    Would make no sense for the guy to get some sort of state permits and then ignore the most obvious required permit of all which would come from the Corps. The main activity this guy did is the absolute definition of a Clean Water Act Section 404 violation. He dredged material from the creek bed, placed material in the creek bed, and placed large tree debris (generated by him) in the creek bed. If that's not a CWA violation, nothing is. Course, then you have umpteen other federal and state laws which were probably violated.

    Also, any sort of permit for this activity would require some sort of description of what was to take place and how the permittee plans to minimize environmental impact. For example, no agency would grant a permit for someone to pile a few hundred cubic yards of sand and small gravel on a previously-vegetated and highly susceptible-to-erosion stream bank without requiring major erosion control measures. Also no agency would allow a permittee to cut upland trees and pile them down in a stream bed. Not to mention, it's a sensitive anadromous stream....so sensitive in fact, that that portion of the stream is catch and release only and single hook only (for all species). Just no way any of it was permitted. I can assure anyone that this situation is a case of someone who is either ignorant of the law and ignorant of basic environmental science or someone who just doesn't give a **** about their impact on the environment and their fellow citizens.

    I'm hoping somebody makes the guy at least restore the 2 sections of bank that he destroyed. Probably the worst of what the guy did is cut 2 separate large openings in the stream bank in order to get equipment and a dump truck down into the stream bed. These banks were much higher than the waterline, so required the removal of a lot of material (and all the existing vegetation) to make 'ramps' down into the bed. I actually measured all of the excavated areas and the estimated material volume removed or moved at or below the ordinary high water mark is around 600 cubic yards. Anyway, next big flood on Montana Creek is going to erode the **** out of the areas around those two access points he cut, and given the location and topography right now, they could easily cause the creek to drastically shift directions.

    So, if this guy does get away with this, or gets some bull**** like an "after the fact permit" (which is a thing), then why doesn't everyone in the state who wants some free gravel just bring an excavator to Montana creek and load up?

    Again, gotta say I was really impressed with the Corps and EPA people who I met with. Very sharp, very concerned, very knowledgeable, and overall just seemed like really good people.
    I've fished that creek for decades, thank you sooo much for being diligent!
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    I've fished that creek for decades, thank you sooo much for being diligent!
    You're welcome.

    Cheers

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanfarmer View Post
    You're welcome.

    Cheers
    Have you talked to the land owner at all?

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    Have you talked to the land owner at all?
    Nope.

    I've stopped by over there on weekends several times trying to see if they were there, but they never were. Didn't want to leave a note because it would require trespassing. It's not a permanent residence. One of the neighbors said it appears to be just a vacation place they visit from time to time. Not sure where they are from. I did all that before I reported it.

  12. #52
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    Interesting a person could think its ok to do all this, considering it is illegal to even drive a four wheeler across the streambed there when water is flowing through it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Interesting a person could think its ok to do all this, considering it is illegal to even drive a four wheeler across the streambed there when water is flowing through it.
    Kinda what I thought, too.

    I assume either the guy is just an idiot or knew it was illegal and destructive and didn't care.

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    Go down and check out places along the Kenai River. It's way easier to just do what you want to do and pay the fine than it is to apply for permits and jump through all the hoops. Although it's wrong, many do it this way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnMike View Post
    Go down and check out places along the Kenai River. It's way easier to just do what you want to do and pay the fine than it is to apply for permits and jump through all the hoops. Although it's wrong, many do it this way.
    I assume most people buy river/creekfront property because they like to fish, enjoy nature, etc. So it's bizarre to me why some of those people do stuff which harms the very wildlife and/or habitat that attracted them in the first place.

    Based on my experience with the Corps and EPA, if someone has a valid concern, documents it well (e.g. pictures, coordinates, etc), they will investigate it. That applies to CWA violations....dredge and fill, spills, etc. Some of these things fall under the purview of other agencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanfarmer View Post
    I assume most people buy river/creekfront property because they like to fish, enjoy nature, etc. So it's bizarre to me why some of those people do stuff which harms the very wildlife and/or habitat that attracted them in the first place.
    It is my experience in life that most people are stupid, they will do things that are expressly against their (and others) best interest even though they think it in their best interest. But then based upon my first statement the next makes sense, to some.
    “I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” Physicist ― Richard Feynman


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    Quote Originally Posted by Patsfan54 View Post
    It is my experience in life that most people are stupid, they will do things that are expressly against their (and others) best interest even though they think it in their best interest. But then based upon my first statement the next makes sense, to some.
    ^^^^ wisdom

  18. #58
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    Alaskanfarmer,

    Do you have any updates on this situation?
    “I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” Physicist ― Richard Feynman


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    Quote Originally Posted by Patsfan54 View Post
    Alaskanfarmer,

    Do you have any updates on this situation?
    No, not since my last update. Corps and EPA are pursuing it. They mentioned something along the lines of..."these things often take many months to be resolved." So I assume it could be awhile.

    Never heard back from any of the state agencies.

    As of now, there hasn't been any more disturbance at the site. No remediation, either.

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