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Thread: Hunting near the Pipeline?

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Question Hunting near the Pipeline?

    I'm curious as to what folks know about hunting near the trans-alaska pipeline. You can get a permit to travel across the pipeline pad, but it appears (from the federal right-of-way lease) that there is a federal prohibition on hunting, fishing, or shooting within 200 feet of the pipe, but I'm having difficulty finding this stated in a law or regulation anywhere. Anyone have insight on this issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    I'm curious as to what folks know about hunting near the trans-alaska pipeline. You can get a permit to travel across the pipeline pad, but it appears (from the federal right-of-way lease) that there is a federal prohibition on hunting, fishing, or shooting within 200 feet of the pipe, but I'm having difficulty finding this stated in a law or regulation anywhere. Anyone have insight on this issue?
    http://www.solcomhouse.com/trans.htm

    The only road access rules and hunting restrictions that I'm aware of are in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game hunting regulations. And as far as that goes, I'm aware of two ways that hunting around the pipeline is restricted. There's the Dalton Highway Corridor Management Area (DHCMA), which is defined as being 5 miles to either side of the 'highway' (measured from the center of the highway) in all units containing the Dalton Highway. In that area, you can only use bow and arrow and there are some motorized vehicle restrictions too, and no hunting at all in the Prudhoe Bay area. In other game management units that have the transalaska pipeline in them, they have restrictions on firearms as well (bow and arrow generally OK). You just have to read the regs for the area you wish to go, by species as well, then go at it. But unless you want 16 years in prison and a $17M fine, follow those firearm rules!

    The best way to search for these things is to go to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game web site (google "ADFG Alaska"), click the fishing and hunting link (near upper middle of the page) and drill down to the regs. If you download the pdfs, you can search for whatever terms you want, e.g. 'pipeline' or 'dalton' etcetera.

    Brian

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    To my knowledge, you can't hunt within 1 mile of the pipeline. I have heard this before and we live less than 1/4 of a mile from the pipeline in our area and I know that we can't hunt on our property. Or... at least, I haven't tried. (Unless a bear tries to attack us, then I'll shoot to kill)
    This is something that you are definitely going to have to look into because there are A LOT of great wildlife in the area of the pipeline throughout the state... and if there is truly a regulation that you can not hunt within 1 mile of the pipeline, you might want to be sure of it.
    I'll see what kind of research I could do for you on it as well.
    Hope that helps.
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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Okay... closer.
    Here is something that changed it all:

    On October 4, 2001 (less than one month after the September 11 terrorist attack) Daniel Carson Lewis, 37, fired his hunting rifle at the pipeline causing it to leak 68,000 barrels onto the tundra. Clean up has cost $18 million so far. The incident was committed by a drunken man and not considered a terrorist act, yet it draws attention to how vulnerable the pipeline is.

    Taken from this article:
    http://www3.iptv.org/exploremore/ene.../Fpipeline.cfm
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    Default RUG

    I know there's a couple of Alyeska guys in the forum, maybe, one can chime in for a bit of clarification.
    The entire length of the pipeline (Valdez-Prudhoe Bay) is secured by Alyeska.
    Access is allowed on the pipeline for recreational use, simple process to utilize this "private" property.
    Most of the pump stations along the pipeline can set you up with a RUG. And some locations in Anchorage can give you the necessary paperwork.
    You'll need some form of government issued identification (Driver's License, State ID, etc.). Know which section(s) of the pipeline you plan to 'recreate' on. Know the date(s) you will be there. There's a handful of Q&A for the permit (Whatcha doin, watcha drivin, etc.). Pretty basic stuff.
    As I recall, the permit emphasized pretty basic common sense. Don't drive on roads marked closed, don't drive around locked/closed gates. Don't climb on the pipeline, don't deface the pipeline, don't shoot at the pipeline. Don't litter. Always give right-a-way to pipeline workers.

    Within the Dalton Highway Corridor (5 miles from the haul road), the restrictions were weapons based. Bow only within 5 miles of the Dalton Highway. I don't recall any restrictions for the pipeline itself.

    I'm sure if someone is dumb enough to 'accidentally' punch a hole in the Silver Snake... well, stand back 'cause this is gunna hurt real bad.

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    Default RUG

    I was told from Alyeska that as long as you stepped of the road and did not fire across the road or at the direction of the pipeline you where good to go. At least that is what I was told when I got my RUG.

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    Thumbs up RUG

    Stogey pretty much nailed it. I used to work for security out of a pump station and a RUG is a Right-of-way Use Guide or RUG Permit as most people call it. It tells you what you can and can't do when you're on the pad (driveable surface) while inside the pipeline corridor. Mainly used for travelling or crossing over it, NOT hunting from. It is YOUR responsibility to know about the land surrounding it, the ownership of such land and the laws pertaining to that land. It could be native land, personal private property or state land. YOU need to know that, it's NOT Alyeska's responsibility to inform you of where you can and can't legally go once you step off of the pad. You can usually call any of the pump stations within the specific area in which you plan to use and they can usually get a RUG setup, you can go to town (Anch) and get one there or "sometimes" if the pipeline security officers have them, they might be able to issue you one when you see them in the field. They are free. Read the instructions on them carefully and they do EXPIRE. VERY IMPORTANT-DO NOT block the gates. Your stuff WILL get towed. We've done it...

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    Don't shoot a firearm within 5 miles of the pipeline. Bow hunting is allowed within that area. Alyeska will give you their rules, not the state rules. You have to get that from Fish & Game. Also, Alyeska will give you the permit to travel on the Right of Way. As far as I know, you don't need one to simply cross the ROW but you do if you want to travel on it. In most areas, there are gates that prevent you from crossing the ROW with a vehicle, but 4 wheelers and foot traffic is normally pretty easy to cross.

    You can reach Alyeska security at 450-5607 (Fairbanks) 787-5607 (Anchorage).

    Good luck and make sure to follow all of the rules, there are eyes everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpalmatier View Post
    I was told from Alyeska that as long as you stepped of the road and did not fire across the road or at the direction of the pipeline you where good to go. At least that is what I was told when I got my RUG.
    I was told the same by an Alyeska security officer. I have one os such permits, and he told me not to shoot across the road, and not to shoot anywhere where the pipeline is exposed or outside the ground. Now, on the corridor talked about, one can't shoot a firearm within 5 miles from the pipeline.

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    Default what is the law?

    We're running around in circles here with lots of opinions. So back to the facts. I have a RUG. I have a copy of those guidelines sitting in front of me as well as the state hunting regs and the federal right-of-way lease agreement.

    The RUG says, "Hunting, trapping, or shooting across, from, or on the pipeline ROW is not allowed!". This is an agreement you make with Alyeska when you get the RUG from them.

    The state hunting regs establish a 5 mile Dalton Highway Corridor that exists only North of Fairbanks (i.e. on the Dalton Highway) which is bow only. It doesn't provide any other restriction south of there as to hunting near the pipeline, however the contructed road alongside the pipe falls under the rule prohibiting shooting on, from, or across a roadway. So by the hunting regs, one could step off the side of that road and shoot an animal standing right next to the pipe. This contradicts the RUG statement, which is more restrictive.

    The Federal lease, which is an agreement between the feds and the Alyeska company states, "Permittees shall post the Right-of-Way against camping, hunting, fishing, trapping, and shooting within the Right-of-Way. Permittees shall prohibit their employees, agents, contractors, subcontractors, and their employees, from engaging in such activities." The fed lease further establishes the ROW as extending 200' to each side of the pipe. But this seems to be binding only to people who work on the pipeline and not to the general public as it is a contract between Alyeska and the Feds.

    I cannot find a state or federal law that backs up the RUG or federal lease. So if one were hunting within 200' of the pipe (south of Fairbanks), but off the roadway, the state hunting regs says you're legal. You are in violation of the RUG, but under who's authority does that fall and is there a law that backs up this hunting restriction?

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    Default Different roads

    The difference is the roads. For F&G yes you have to off of a public road. The pipeline access road is not a state road. It is privately constructed and falls under different regulations. The right-of-way has in many areas more than the pipeline on it. There are buildings, pressure checking connections, electrical posts to take readings and other things that need not be shot. The regulation is also there to protect the workers on the pipeline. You might have pipeline employees, brush cutting crews, survey crews and people that just want to walk, bike, ski, or horse the length of the pipeline.

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    Lot of confusion and mis-information going out on this thread. Bottom line appears to me though, that the issue is being loosely, if not at all enforced. I have watched many archery hunters, "Hunting" on and under the pipeline itself. Never seen nor heard of any getting busted for it. Although the prohibition is plainly stated on the RUG. I never heard of others getting busted along the length of the line, south of Fairbanks getting busted for archery or gun hunting, all along the length of it. I have in fact spoken with Alyeska Security while in the field and on a couple of ocassions, they did not even know what a RUG was. Unless one is doing something stupidly wrong, I don't think there is a problem. Matter of fact, I have watched others and have myself, gone around gates with four wheelers and walking, without repurcussion. Just another one of those deals, where all the players have no idea how the game is played. One security cheif, actually talked to us in the field and on the pipeline road, he was hunting caribou himself and with a tier 2 tag to boot. I asked him about the federal caribou tags available, and he said he would have to check it out himself and had not thought about it, but figured he might also be eligible to obtain them and use the Pipeline Right of Way, that was federal. Go figure. Always more questions than answers. And, quite a few hunting opportunities being lost, due to lack of understanding and communication. The pipeline is a valuable access tool, for Alaskans. Use it wisely.

  13. #13

    Default question?

    Here is my question, or questions?

    What athority does a Alyeska security gaurd have? I am asking not question there power but more to understand there juristiction. I know a few and the ones I have met were nothing more than "renta-cops", they gaurd us here at Fort Wainwright, and the one who wrote my RUG could barely get out of his chair. He liked steak and lobster night at Pump Sation 4 I guess.

    If it is now outlined in the hunting regulations than its not a hunting law right? or is it? My question is does Alyeska have the right to impose a law prohibing shooting by them selves?

    I hope I am not adding to the confusion, but if shooting near the pipeline is illegal there are about 400 guys in the white mountains as you are reading this hunting illegaly!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    ...and I still believe that it's really 1 mile that you need to steer clear from the pipeline on.
    Alyeska may have different rules in different areas, but north of the Brooks Range there is not a rule prohibiting hunting near the pipeline. We were camped right next to a pipeline access road two years ago while hunting caribou on the Dalton Highway. 3 seperate times we chatted with Alyeska security folks, and each time they encouraged us to use the pipeline road for hunting as long as we kept our camp clear of their access points. They told us about the caribou taken right near the pipeline, and when we pointed out a good ambush point we had used the previous day that was 50 yards from the pipeline, they agreed that it was a good spot and wished us luck.

    Again, I'm not familiar with the Alyeska rules statewide, but there is not a blanket provision concerning a 1 mile setback.

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Alyeska may have different rules in different areas, but north of the Brooks Range there is not a rule prohibiting hunting near the pipeline. We were camped right next to a pipeline access road two years ago while hunting caribou on the Dalton Highway. 3 seperate times we chatted with Alyeska security folks, and each time they encouraged us to use the pipeline road for hunting as long as we kept our camp clear of their access points. They told us about the caribou taken right near the pipeline, and when we pointed out a good ambush point we had used the previous day that was 50 yards from the pipeline, they agreed that it was a good spot and wished us luck.

    Again, I'm not familiar with the Alyeska rules statewide, but there is not a blanket provision concerning a 1 mile setback.
    Who knows? I don't firsthand. Maybe it's in specific game management areas.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Exclamation Any road...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    ... The pipeline access road is not a state road. It is privately constructed and falls under different regulations.
    Disagree there as the regs to not specify "state roads". It says, "You MAY NOT take game by: Shooting on, from, or across the driveable surface of any constructed road or highway." There is no reference to public vs. private or ownership.

    This means ANY constructed road, which includes the road on the ROW next to the pipe. Does not matter if it is private or state owned and since the road next to the pipe is on a Federal Right-of-Way, I would venture that it is considered a Federal roadway that is being leased, like the whole ROW, to Alyeska.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    The phone # to Alyeska security is actually 450-5707 at the Fairbanks Alyeska office building. That person will basically redirect you to a security manager. The number provided in a previous post goes to the Nordale yard.

    As for the authority of the guards, as private security they have no more "power" than a private citizen, i.e. they are not police. Their jurisdiction includes all Alyeska property, including the leased ROW. As it was explained to me, they are there to protect Alyeska's people and property and can only arrest via citizen's arrest (for a felony or witnessed misdemenour violation). Basically, they don't care about anything that doesn't affect the pipeline. They call the troopers when bad stuff happens and let them take care of the legal stuff.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Lots of gray here.

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    It says, "You MAY NOT take game by: Shooting on, from, or across the driveable surface of any constructed road or highway."
    Usually a road goes somewhere and can be traveled by John Q. Much of the pipeline access is not driveable. It goes under or over 800 rivers, up mountains, across swamps and is behind locked gates. Using your definiation, then it is OK in some areas to shoot across the pipline because it is not driveable and underground.

    Carrying that further, what about all the power line and gas line ROW's across the state. They have driveable access roads along them too. Would not they fall under the same guidelines.

    How about the dike along the Tanana River in Fairbanks and North Pole. Driveable surface again, better than the pipeline. People stand and shoot from it all the time.

    If the pipeline access is a Federal Roadway, then as John Q Public, why can't I drive on it since my taxes are paying for it. I have a gate key and a RUG, but that RUG only allows me to access a portion between gate X and Y for access across to a gold claim. If I am on any other part I loose my gate key. The road that was constructed back to the gold claim must fall under the state rules then. It is a constructed road, no public assess, but a constructed road across BLM land.

    And concerning you post just below. Just FYI . There is no way that the pipline can be protected from attacks. To that affect, the pipeline security would rather have the public, like us, as eyes out there where they can not be every day. I have reported three different items of concern to them (electrical boxes left open, doors left open, tools left...) and they appreciate the fact that people are out there watching. But the security helicopter will on occassion drop down and check your rug. I usually tell the nearest pump station when I will be in and out and all is well.

    Lots of gray areas here with the access to ROW's or is it constructed roads. ;D

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    The pipeline runs right behind my house. We have hunted back there before the pipeline was put in, and continue to hunt there ever since. The only Aleyeska people we see is that blue and white chopper that flies the route daily. They stopped once the first year and asked us what we were doing. Ever since they just keep going. The cleared area is great for varmit hunting. The corridor is also used by wildlife as a route through the subdivisions. Have seen Moose, and Grizzlies on the Corridor, right behind my house.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Hold up Dave. You picked the wrong word. One must take all facts into account, not just the ones that seem to help your argument.

    The key is CONSTRUCTED road, not just a driveable surface. A power or phone right-of-way in a residential area is not a contructed roadway, it is an area of dirt with trees removed. No road bed is constructed on powerlines. If driveable were the sole key point, you couldn't shoot anywhere.

    If the road to your gold claim is just a dirt trail through the hills, then it's not a constructed road. If you brought in heavy equipment and laid a gravel roadbed, then it is constructed and you can't shoot from or on it for hunting, even if it is private.

    I've run into this issue with FG and FW officers in the swanson river area. There are lots of old oil company roads back there that are gated off to the public. Many haven't been used in years. However, in the eyes of the law they are constructed roads and you can't shoot from them. The public can't even operate a motorized vehicle on them, but that doesn't mean they aren't a constructed road. I've seen citations issued in that area as well as the K-Beach gas fields for folks shooting across these old constructed oil-company access roads, which are all closed to public vehicle use.

    In theory, you can't shoot from your own constructed driveway, but then some of this comes down to a level of common sense enforcement. There must be an officer present who is willing to issue the citation, knowing it has a good chance of not being successfully contested in court.

    As for the pipeline, it certainly is a constructed, driveable roadway. Sure, there are spots that cross rivers and such that you have to go around to a public highway to bypass, but the majority of the pipeline road is definitely a road.

    The Federal government owns a lot of stuff that "Joe Public" can't use. Just because they used tax money to pay for something doesn't mean that the public can use it. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Federally owned lands are off limits to the public or at least have many restrictions on access.

    Finally, the RUG that you sign for requests that you assist Alyeska in looking for oil spills and suspicious activity and report such things immediately. Of course they want the public's help. I didn't mention anything about "attacks". You're talking about 800 linear miles of national critical intrastructure. You'd have to post a thousand security guards along there to be able to protect it entirely. Since I don't see a thousand guards out there, they are obviously playing the odds that NYC or WashDC are more appealing targets to those who want to destroy our nation. I hope they are right as we are paying too much for gasoline as it is.

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