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Thread: Any air-taxi operators around? What about attorney's?

  1. #1

    Default Any air-taxi operators around? What about attorney's?

    Originally Posted by AKMarmot
    "Whats wrong with limiting the number of charters for an area just like guide use areas?
    Only x number of charters can work a gmu at one time."

    Originally Posted by Martentrapper


    "I believe something like your suggesting would run into the same problems that the registered guide use arfeas ran into...........unconstitutional.
    However, on federal land, there is often limits on guides and possibly transporters. Talk to ANWR managers."


    __________________________________________________ ______________

    MartinTrapper is probably right in that the State could not impose such limits.

    MartinTrapper.....What the feds "limit" is the harvest, not the number of people trying to harvest. They do have a system of dividing up the lands to one guide or another. THEY do "limit" the guide to how many animals they can 'take' out of the area AND they won't let any other commercial hunters do business in that area BUT they don't limit the numbers of people trying to kill game. Residents and non-residents can hunt as much as they want in those conssesions.

    I don't think even the feds can limit the publics access to federal lands by limiting air taxi's.

    Could the federal park service or federal fish and wildlife impose limits on air taxi's accessing federal lands?

    So, heres the question:
    Could air taxi's be subject to such proposed limits [
    found above] even on federal lands?

    Air taxi's are federally regulated and provide transportation to the public just like Alaska Airlines is. They are licensed and authorized to go anywhere, with anyone, any time.

    Wouldn't such limits be like saying Alaska Airlines can only bring so many people to Alaska.

    If some park service or refuge manager wanted to limit hunters access to the resources (which belong to the State btw) the limits would have to be put on the numbers of hunters...not on any air taxi operators that are only providing the public access.


  2. #2

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    Federal land managers manage commercial operations on the lands that they manage. This includes guides, air taxis, transporters...whoever. I took that to be what he was referring to. Their plans to do so and the reasoning behind those plans vary by agency and by area.

    You have it backwards. For example the NPS does not limit the number of private hunters that hunt in the Denali National Preserve. But they do manage the number of air taxis and guides on those areas, both as to number of trips and number of operators, also where they go, what they do etc.

    I am less familiar with the BLM, I know they manage commercial operations but to what extent I know not.

    And the game and fish which find themselves within the boundaries of National Park Service areas belong to the citizens to the United States, not to Alaska or Alaskans specifically. Depending on what they are and the status of the land unit, they might be partially managed by the state too, but sometimes not at all.

    Edit: I reread your post again. The NPS and the USFWS definitely regulate air taxis as to where they land, what they do, how many trips, etc. Commercial operations are prohibited unless specifically permitted, with certain permit stipulations that they have to live up to. It is a common misconception that the FAA is the only agency that can regulate air operators. That might be true if they never touched the ground Like I said I am not very familiar with BLM regulations and policy.

  3. #3

    Default Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Federal land managers manage commercial operations on the lands that they manage. This includes guides, air taxis, transporters...whoever. I took that to be what he was referring to. Their plans to do so and the reasoning behind those plans vary by agency and by area.
    Sure; through their commercial services agreement; they manage the conduct of commercial operations on the lands they have jurisdiction over. I get that.

    Air taxi's are only providing the public access. They do have land use compliance issues but there are different considerations than those providing commercial services like guiding, running raft trip's, fishing ect on the public lands they manage.

    Those same land managers don't have one thing to do with the establishment of the game regulations; at least no more than a local Advisory Committee as far as I know.

    So; if the federal managers intent is to 'limit' air taxi operations to influence some perception of hunting pressure the State does not recognize through their hunting regulations then that might not be appropriate for them to do?

    I understand they have the authority to regulate how many people are on a wild and scenic river....but when it comes to hunting it seems the state is making the rules about who can hunt what, where, and when and the feds have no authorization to add public access restrictions like we are discussing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    You have it backwards. For example the NPS does not limit the number of private hunters that hunt in the Denali National Preserve. But they do manage the number of air taxis and guides on those areas, both as to number of trips and number of operators, also where they go, what they do etc.
    Again; I understand guides because they are providing commercial services on their lands and taking the public resources for profit.

    Air taxi's are providing the public access to what is presumably "the publics" lands to do what they want. The two things are much different.

    But I get your point as to how the park service land managers restrict the publics access for hunters and influence the States game management system.

    How does that line up with what you are saying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I am less familiar with the BLM, I know they manage commercial operations but to what extent I know not.
    Yah; I don't have a clue about BLM either.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    And the game and fish which find themselves within the boundaries of National Park Service areas belong to the citizens to the United States, not to Alaska or Alaskans. Depending on what they are and the status of the land unit, they might be partially managed by the state too, but sometimes not at all.
    Does the State know all that? How about the animals on the USF&W refuges and stuff; do they belong to the US and not the State too?

    Does the US own the game and fish on those lands too? Wonder what the deal is with game on BLM lands?

    I am pretty sure the state makes hunting regulations and some of them are specific to non-residents (citizens of the US) hunting and some of them say that the people who you say "own" the resources on certain lands can not hunt for example bears and sheep with out a guide....even on federal lands.....and they charge those same people more for a license and a tag too.

    How's that line up with what your saying?

    Anyway; if what you say is true then what happens to fish and game that get on private ground; like corporation lands? Whose is it then? States, Feds or Nate's.

    As far as I know, the state makes hunting regs on all lands in Alaska.

    Some of the hunting regs are specific to non-residents (citizens of the US) and some of them say that the people who you say "own" the resources on certain lands can not hunt for example bears and sheep with out a guide....even on federal lands.....and the State charge those same people more for a license and a tag too because they are not residents of this State.

    How does that line up with what you are saying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Edit: I reread your post again. The NPS and the USFWS definitely regulate air taxis as to where they land, what they do, how many trips, etc.
    No they don't do that across the board. They have some "special use" areas (like wild and scenic rivers) they impose some "restrictions" on but generally they don't impose any limits on where an air taxi can land, or how many people they drop off or the frequency of landings. I know that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Commercial operations are prohibited unless specifically permitted, with certain permit stipulations that they have to live up to.
    Sure; just like hunters have to have a licenses and a tag or not or comply with full curl or SF50...that kind of stuff is a given. There are some standard rules air taxi's comply with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    It is a common misconception that the FAA is the only agency that can regulate air operators. That might be true if they never touched the ground Like I said I am not very familiar with BLM regulations and policy.
    Oh yah their are land use permits necessary for almost anywhere and all kinds of rules and stipulations to comply with to 'land'.

    But the park service, blm, fish and wildlife the state the natives....no 'agency' can authorize a flight operation or change the rules of compliance for pilots or any flight operation. You are correct though, it does seem that some don't understand that land managers and resource managers can not create rules that preempt or waive a Federal Aviation Regulation.

    I am still not too sure I understand how air taxi's can be regulated by land or resource managers if the intent of the management protocol is to limit the publics access.

    I am pretty sure there are some pretty strong case laws about "limiting" the publics access and regulating federally authorized air carriers that are established to provide transportation to the public.

    Doesn't mean it's not happening;
    but itmight not be the right way to go about limiting hunters and public access generally.


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    But the park service, blm, fish and wildlife the state the natives....no 'agency' can authorize a flight operation or change the rules of compliance for pilots or any flight operation. You are correct though, it does seem that some don't understand that land managers and resource managers can not create rules that preempt or waive a Federal Aviation Regulation.

    I am still not too sure I understand how air taxi's can be regulated by land or resource managers if the intent of the management protocol is to limit the publics access.

    Doesn't mean it's not happening; but it might not be the right way to go about limiting hunters.
    You and I will have to disagree with your statement in the first paragraph quoted. It is very clear that no one else can waive requirements of the FAA, or allow a less strenuous regulatory or operation scheme, true, but they are free to impose additional or more stringent regulations as their jurisdiction allows. You think a 135 certificate and a commercial pilot's license allows you to land at Eilsen AFB without authorization?

    I don't think any agency is using this authority to limit hunting. I think they are using it to limit or regulate commercial use of the resource. An example being making money by landing passengers in x wildlife refuge or y national park. Why they do this is tied to that agencies mission. What is fact is that commercial air use be it under part 91, 135 or 121 is not only being regulated, it is very clearly being limited on federal lands. Commercial operators may not even land at a FAA registered, public use airport on lands of the NPS without prior authorization.

    Sec. 27.97 Private operations.

    Soliciting business or conducting a commercial enterprise on any

    national wildlife refuge is prohibited except as may be authorized by

    special permit.

    Sec. 5.3 Business operations.

    Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in
    accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written
    agreement with the United States, except as such may be specifically
    authorized under special regulations applicable to a park area, is
    prohibited.

  5. #5

    Default Don't get frustrated ok...I'm not being argumenative for the sake of arguing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    ...You think a 135 certificate and a commercial pilot's license allows you to land at Eilsen AFB without authorization?
    What in the world gives you that impression?

    No, I don't think a commercial carrier can land on State federal or private lands with out the proper authorization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I don't think any agency is using this authority to limit hunting.
    What I said is that an agency could not limit hunting in that way. I did not say they were.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I think they are using it to limit or regulate commercial use of the resource.
    I agree that landing and dropping off a public person who is using the resource in a non-commercial way is DIFFERENT than those providing commercial services like guiding, rafting ect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    An example being making money by landing passengers in x wildlife refuge or y national park.
    That's true, the air taxi is in the business of making money from the provision of transportation.

    However, what were discussing is hunters. The State makes the regulations. Air taxi's provide transportation to the public. The public owns the resource.

    And remember, we are talking about the non-commercial hunting public, their rights to public access and the protocols land and resource managers would have to consider in order to arrive at the conclusion that they could impose limits directly on air taxis.

    If the managers intent is to limit the non-commercial hunter publics access (impact) and attempts to use limits on air taxi's to provide those restrictions then who knows whether the managers intent is to limit the economic opportunity of air taxi, to limit the amount of game harvested or to protect game from hunters the State says they can harvest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Why they do this is tied to that agencies mission.
    I understand what you are saying. There are protocols and those protocols should be commensurate with the land/resource plans. Theoretically we assume they are conducting 'business' like that anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    What is fact is that commercial air use be it under part 91, 135 or 121 is not only being regulated, it is very clearly being limited on federal lands.

    Sec. 27.97 Private operations.

    Soliciting business or conducting a commercial enterprise on any

    national wildlife refuge is prohibited except as may be authorized by

    special permit.
    Sure if you are operating commercially on public lands then the operation must be properly permitted to be authorized. I have never said, and I don't know anyone that has said air taxi's don't need to be permitted to conduct business on public lands. I don't view that as regulating a flight operation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Sec. 5.3 Business operations.

    Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in
    accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written
    agreement with the United States, except as such may be specifically
    authorized under special regulations applicable to a park area, is
    prohibited.

    That's all fine too.

    My question is related to:


    • The State's authority to make the hunting regulations on all lands.



    • Those regulations authorize who hunts what, when. and where.



    • No land or resource manager can impose some artificial "limits" on otherwise authorized air taxi's that carry the non-commercial hunting public.



    • Such limits would be viewed as nothing more than a back door way some land/resource manager is using to limit the access of the non-commercial hunter.


    I believe there are laws against economic discrimination and denying a group or class of the public access to land and resources that managers must consider.


  6. #6

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    Avalanche,

    Sorry, I didn't mean to come off as argumentative either, I think I now understand what you were trying to say. I haven't found the original thread you were branching off from and so didn't see your point.

    But I still take issue with your third bullet point near the end

    No land or resource manager can impose some artificial "limits" on otherwise authorized air taxi's that carry the non-commercial hunting public.
    I don't know what you mean by that An authorization i.e. a permit comes with very specific stipulations about, when, where, how, how many etc. It is not just some blanket authorization to operate within a park or wildlife refuge. That was my point in the previous post. Despite your contention that no manager can etc., they already are doing so. They view the air taxis as the commercial venture, regardless of what the passengers are or are not doing. Every aspect of the air taxis behavior while on the ground in these areas is regulated by the land management agency (and in the USFW case, in the air near the ground if they are close to wildlife) - this is in addition to FAA regulations that the operator may comply with.

    Put another way, there is nothing in the authority that an air taxi operator receives from the FAA to conduct flight operations that gives them the inherent power to do squat on NPS and USFWS (and maybe BLM and certainly military) lands. The operator must gain that authority from the controlling agency, and must operate with the specific stipulations that authority comes with.

    OK a specific example. In Denali, no airplane involved in commercial activity (be it under any part of the FAR) can land anywhere in the park (including the FAA registered, public use airports) without a permit or contract with the NPS. In that permit or contract, they are directed as to how many times in one year they may land, where specifically they may land, what activities they may or may conduct that cause them to need to land, etc. In Denali's case, except for prohibiting airplane use in connection with subsistence, there are no restrictions as to what passengers they are carrying for what purpose.

    BUT - and this part is as much my opinion as fact - I could see a situation under which a federal land manager could restrict or eliminate air taxi traffic previously permitted - or deny additional air taxi permits or contracts - to reduce pressure from a specific activity such as private hunting that is only indirectly related to the regulation of commercial air carriers, if there is a specific reason to do so. I simply see no barrier preventing that tool being available to managers. Others might disagree. Same with your fourth bullet point. What is to prevent a land manager from limiting private hunters access to a specific area for articulable resource reasons, using any number of tools? The NPS already restricts all hunters from accessing the Denali National Preserve lands to the south and west of the park by ORV, for resource reasons. Guides are tightly regulated, I believe there are only two that have contracts with the NPS to guide there. I could certainly see putting a stipulation in an air carrier permit or contract that "passengers may only be landed at spot x for for the purpose of wildlife viewing", or "this permit is valid only for the concessionaire's business in connection with the lawful transport of game or hunters as licensed by the State of Alaska. No other activity within X National Wildlife Refuge is authorized by this permit."

    I guess to sum up the larger question, federal land management agencies are charged by Congress to manage their lands in accordance with the specific laws, regulations and management policies governing what they do. Alaska's power to manage wildlife (and therefore regulate hunting and fishing) is subservient to that mandate. The state does not have blanket authority to control hunting or fishing on all lands in Alaska, the authority of the state to manage wildlife on federal public lands has been granted to the state in varying levels by Congress. In some places the state is the only authority. In some others, their powers are concurrent with the Federal government. In a couple of places, they have no authority at all.

  7. #7

    Default

    My, I do ramble on. I can no longer edit my post so I just wanted to add one thing that would tend to clarify my point in the last paragraph.

    Martentrapper originally posted this somewheres:

    "I believe something like your suggesting would run into the same problems that the registered guide use arfeas ran into...........unconstitutional.
    However, on federal land, there is often limits on guides and possibly transporters. Talk to ANWR managers."

    Keep in mind the federal government is not bound by the Alaska Constitution or laws. Because the registered GUA's fell afoul of the state constitution has little to do with this other issue, I find it hard to believe any such similar regulation from the feds would rise to a violation of the equal protection clause - current federal rural subsistence priority might be a good example.

    As you know (and as is constantly complained about on this site every day) federal land managers have a lot of discretion when it comes to protecting the resource - but on the other hand they are often forced by nationwide policies to do the very thing you are claiming they can't, which is to focus on and restrict certain activities and constituencies.

    Here's hoping it won't come to that any more than the status quo. Most folks are hunting on BLM land and that agency seems to be happy to let the state regulate all aspects of hunting with little interference.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Every aspect of the air taxis behavior while on the ground in these areas is regulated by the land management agency (and in the USFW case, in the air near the ground if they are close to wildlife) - this is in addition to FAA regulations that the operator may comply with.
    Were good here I think.

    As I understand the land use permitting process only some areas within parks and refuges are 'limited', not every square inch. I do understand that an operator must be permitted and comply with the stipulations of the land use permit. But, not every park or refuge is limited to the numbers of visitors or the activity of those visitors or air taxi's flight operations in terms of how many landings and where those landings take place.

    Ever been to Brooks? There are no limits there on air taxi's or the numbers of people. An air taxi can land on the beach or in Brooks Lake, or in Naknek lake or wherever they want as many times as necessary to meet the demand for public access. McNiel River is different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Put another way, there is nothing in the authority that an air taxi operator receives from the FAA to conduct flight operations that gives them the inherent power to do squat on NPS and USFWS (and maybe BLM and certainly military) lands. The operator must gain that authority from the controlling agency, and must operate with the specific stipulations that authority comes with.
    Right; were good on that. Sorry I don't articulate the issue's so well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    OK a specific example. In Denali, no airplane involved in commercial activity (be it under any part of the FAR) can land anywhere in the park (including the FAA registered, public use airports) without a permit or contract with the NPS. In that permit or contract, they are directed as to how many times in one year they may land, where specifically they may land, what activities they may or may conduct that cause them to need to land, etc. In Denali's case, except for prohibiting airplane use in connection with subsistence, there are no restrictions as to what passengers they are carrying for what purpose.
    Is Mt. McKinley's park different from other parks and refuges? I mean, in other parks and refuges do you think the air taxi's are TOLD how many times they can land in a year, where they have to land, how many people they can take? I don't think so. Maybe in some specific area's within a park or refuge (Denali being one) but I believe the public is generally authorized to go where they want to go and provided the air taxi is permitted, they can take the public where they want to go and when.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    BUT - and this part is as much my opinion as fact - I could see a situation under which a federal land manager could restrict or eliminate air taxi traffic previously permitted - or deny additional air taxi permits or contracts - to reduce pressure from a specific activity such as private hunting that is only indirectly related to the regulation of commercial air carriers, if there is a specific reason to do so.
    I don't think a land manager could limit public hunter access by imposing some kind of restriction on air taxi operations when there is an open "general" hunting season permitted by the State fish and game regulations.

    If the issue that brings about "limits" due to some kind of legitimate habitat degradation issue caused by the public that would be something the manager is obligated to assess.

    But, if it's hunters complaining to the manager that air taxi's are taking too many people then the limits would more correctly be controlled through the State's regulations and a Federal lands manager would have no reason, and no authority to be responsive to such complaints.

    The State on the other hand, by establishing draws or some other criteria that controlled the distribution of tags and the timing of authorized persons to hunt could solve the "crowding" issue but they would also likely be obligated to reduce or curtail entirely the commercial hunting guides as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I simply see no barrier preventing that tool being available to managers. Others might disagree. Same with your fourth bullet point. What is to prevent a land manager from limiting private hunters access to a specific area for articulable resource reasons, using any number of tools?
    Habitat degradation is articulable; crowding is not.

    The experience of one person vs. that of another do not justify limits.

    The only thing the "manager" would be doing (in light of this discussion) is shifting pressure from one area to another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    The NPS already restricts all hunters from accessing the Denali National Preserve lands to the south and west of the park by ORV, for resource reasons.
    ORV's are clearly a habitat issue. Not the same issue. But, maybe I don't know...are airplanes considered ORV's?

    Do you know if this area in the preserve is limited by "permits" or is it a general season hunt; just no ORV's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Guides are tightly regulated, I believe there are only two that have contracts with the NPS to guide there.
    Again; are the areas open to the general public or by permit?

    By the way; I have heard a Park manager say that if too many residents were hunting a guides area he would put limits on air taxi's. He said he would do that to protect the guides economic interest. I said W-O-W!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I could certainly see putting a stipulation in an air carrier permit or contract that "passengers may only be landed at spot x for for the purpose of wildlife viewing", or "this permit is valid only for the concessionaire's business in connection with the lawful transport of game or hunters as licensed by the State of Alaska. No other activity within X National Wildlife Refuge is authorized by this permit."
    I would think that there would have to be reasons; justifiable reasons, to limit the publics access and to interfere with the commerce of air carriers in that manner.

    Why? Because it's the publics land. Land managers surely can not possibly be authorized to make these kinds of decisions arbitrarily. Why can't the public go where they want to to look at wildlife? That's what air taxi's do. That's what they hired the air taxi to do. That's what they are licensed to do. That's what they are regulated for; to provide transportation to the public for hire when and where they want to go.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I guess to sum up the larger question, federal land management agencies are charged by Congress to manage their lands in accordance with the specific laws, regulations and management policies governing what they do.
    Yep; that's what the public expects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Alaska's power to manage wildlife (and therefore regulate hunting and fishing) is subservient to that mandate. The state does not have blanket authority to control hunting or fishing on all lands in Alaska,
    Well, if it is in the State hunting regulations and it says the public can hunt it then the Fed can not say....well only "this much" public can hunt it...can they?

    Federal lands belong to the public...access may not be limited. And certainly not 'back door' limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    the authority of the state to manage wildlife on federal public lands has been granted to the state in varying levels by Congress. In some places the state is the only authority. In some others, their powers are concurrent with the Federal government. In a couple of places, they have no authority at all.
    Within the context of game and hunting the above 'stuff' is something I would like to understand better your point of view.

    I will say this; I understand a little bit about how federal law can not be preempted by State's laws and that Alaska's constitution was ratified by Congress.


  9. #9

    Default Darn...wish I would have seen this before I posted

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Keep in mind the federal government is not bound by the Alaska Constitution or laws. Because the registered GUA's fell afoul of the state constitution has little to do with this other issue, I find it hard to believe any such similar regulation from the feds would rise to a violation of the equal protection clause - current federal rural subsistence priority might be a good example.
    Ummm....I think the Federal Government must be bound by the Alaska Constitution. Congress accepted it as the State's law of the land.

    Exclusive use commercial hunting areas are not legal on State lands I understand that. I thought though that the exclusive use areas were found unconstitutional due to the resource mandates found in the States constitution; the game belongs to everyone.

    Lets leave subsistence out of it for now

    Are you saying exclusive commercial hunting areas are legal on federal lands? I don't understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    As you know (and as is constantly complained about on this site every day) federal land managers have a lot of discretion when it comes to protecting the resource - but on the other hand they are often forced by nationwide policies to do the very thing you are claiming they can't, which is to focus on and restrict certain activities and constituencies.
    I say they can't without justification; they must do so within the law and you must agree with that.

    Remember, we are focusing on people complaining about crowds; where there are general seasons with unlimited times and numbers of people who are legal to hunt and demand access.

    Thinking the land managers should solve the problem by restricting air taxi's is the wrong approach to satisfying the winers and I would hope land managers would not be responsive to such complaints.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Here's hoping it won't come to that any more than the status quo.
    Amen.


  10. #10

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    Avalanche,

    We are obviously coming at this discussion (and a very complicated topic) from two different directions

    I am largely talking about how it is from my side of the house, and you are largely talking about how it should be. Two different conversations...I can go down that road too but that isn't where I've been the last few posts

    As for your specific questions above...in no particular order...

    For the NPS, no, McKinley isn't different than other National Park up here as far as regulating commercial ops, though certainly parks look at designated wilderness areas different than non-wilderness areas, when deciding how anal to be. I suppose a specific park or refuge looked at the issue, and said, OK, for now we will license or contract with certain air taxis, but our process says we only have to be 'this' restrictive on their activities, unless resource degredation occurs, in which case we may need to ramp up and be 'this' restrictive...

    The federales are absolutely, positively not restricted by the state constitution or state law, unless Congress specifically agrees to it. In specific cases Congress has agreed to it - one example is that federal installations can be fined by Alaska DEQ for sewage plant violations. Another is that the state historic preservation office has to sign off on changes to federal buildings that have historic character. Another is that state officers can serve state civil papers on exclusive federal lands...etc. You can find these relationships in specific federal laws that Congress has passed. But federal law enforcement don't have to follow the latest state court cases based on the state constitution, on search and seizure, right of counsel etc. only the federal ones. When a state court overruled rural preference on subsistence, the feds took their ball and went home so to speak, and unless Congress makes the feds play ball with the state on subsistence, the feds don't have to follow the part of the state constitution that says everyone is equal, period. There are a host of other examples, I just thought of that one as being a famous example. The reason that the state concurrently manages wildlife and state game and fish laws apply on federal lands has as much or more to do with ANILCA (a public law passed by Congress) as the state Constitution. If Congress chose to make ANILCA a very different document, then the relationship with the state on hunting issues might look VERY different today.

    As for the national preserves, again, the main difference is protecting the resources and regulating commercial activity. Part 5 of 36 CFR says you can't perform commercial activities in NPS areas without a permit or contract. That covers guides, air taxis, transporters, whoever. A private hunter can access the national preserves, and hunt under state regulations because Congress says he can. No special permit is needed for the private hunter to hunt. But Congress has retained the power of the federal government to decide how he gets there, and allowed the NPS to monitor the condition of the resource and make resource-related decisions outside of the state's power - including restricting hunting if need be in the future. The state is not allowed to perform predator control either.

    No, there are no areas on federal land that are exclusively for commercial hunting. But every area on NPS and USFWS land is the exclusive guiding area of a limited number of commercial outfits, to the exclusion of other guides and transporters. And I imagine (though I don't know of any off the top of my head) that there are areas where no guiding is allowed at all, but private individuals may hunt.

    Congress has specifically hung around the NPS neck the responsibility to protect an authorized concessionaire's ability to make a fair profit. There is no such thing as "fair competition" in a NPS area - businesses there are by their very nature a partial or full monopoly. Don't blame the NPS, blame the Congress and the lobbyists there. Businesses that choose to climb into bed with the NPS for business get a monopoly, but they also get a lot of regulation. It is a business decision guides and air taxis (and big service operators like Aramark and Xanterra and Doyon and Delaware North) have to make. I'm less familiar with the USFWS relationship with their concessionaires.

  11. #11
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    .......Could the federal park service or federal fish and wildlife impose limits on air taxi's accessing federal lands?.....
    For your review:

    www.juneau.org/tourism2/tac/10-26-99min.pdf

    http://www.juneau.org/tourism2/docum...le10-26-99.pdf

    http://www.juneau.lib.ak.us/ppc/minu...0/M2_28_00.pdf

    Alaskans using the Grand Canyon flightseeing issue to expand access restrictions here, with "noise" no less as the "issue".

    There are no limits to what lawyers or environmentalists can propose. None whatsoever.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post

    Remember, we are focusing on people complaining about crowds; where there are general seasons with unlimited times and numbers of people who are legal to hunt and demand access.
    Oh, is that what we are focusing on?

    In that case, IMHO federal managers currently have the tool to restrict air taxis to solve that problem (if and when it indeed exists) along with a lot of other tools in their toolbox. Can't speak for other agencies but the NPS would not even have to show specific damage to physical resources, they could point to degradation of other "resources" they are responsible for protecting, including wildlife numbers, conflicts between user groups and the "visitor experience." Don't think that is true? Well, I'll point to my specific examples in my posts above that show it is already happening. That it isn't happening in a park or refuge near you just shows that someone doesn't think that overcrowding or resource degradation is a problem there. Yet. Industrial tourism is the wave of the future, Alaska is growing and things are just going to get more crowded. Managers may choose to raise fees, close areas, restrict activities, or restrict access to meet their mandates. These things have been happening for years in the lower 48. The Alaska constitution is no barrier. The political process may well be, of course.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    For your review:

    www.juneau.org/tourism2/tac/10-26-99min.pdf

    www.juneau.org/tourism2/documents90-99/roundtable10-26-99.pdf

    www.juneau.lib.ak.us/ppc/minutes/2000/M2_28_00.pdf

    Alaskans using the Grand Canyon flightseeing issue to expand access restrictions here, with "noise" no less as the "issue".

    There are no limits to what lawyers or environmentalists can propose. None whatsoever.
    Roger that.

    What we were discussing was the recommendation (in another thread) that hunters complain to land managers that "it's too crowed" and it's the air taxi's fault. Then the land managers would have justification to "limit" the access provided by the air taxi's; resolving the hunters 'crowding complaint'.

    Also with respect to the other thread; my view is the department sees no reason to limit the hunting opportunity.

    Over the counter tags and hunters complaining about air taxi's "crowding" an area does not meet the protocols necessary for land managers to exercise their authority to "limit" or restrict access of either hunters or air taxi's to that resource.


  14. #14

    Default Appreciate your insite and that you keep essplaining to me this stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I am largely talking about how it is from my side of the house, and you are largely talking about how it should be.
    I am sort of getting the impression you work for the gubment. That would mean you might really work for me and maybe you SHOULD be making the effort to see (do) things as how they should be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    For the NPS, no, McKinley isn't different than other National Park up here as far as regulating commercial ops, though certainly parks look at designated wilderness areas different than non-wilderness areas, when deciding how anal to be.
    ok I get that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I suppose a specific park or refuge looked at the issue, and said, OK, for now we will license or contract with certain air taxis, but our process says we only have to be 'this' restrictive on their activities, unless resource degredation occurs, in which case we may need to ramp up and be 'this' restrictive...
    That too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    The federales are absolutely, positively not restricted by the state constitution or state law, unless Congress specifically agrees to it.
    Umm.....didn't Congress agree to Alaska's State Constitution? I forget what they call that but I am pretty sure Congress did do EXACTLY that; agree to Alaska's Constitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    In specific cases Congress has agreed to it - one example is that federal installations can be fined by Alaska DEQ for sewage plant violations. Another is that the state historic preservation office has to sign off on changes to federal buildings that have historic character. Another is that state officers can serve state civil papers on exclusive federal lands...etc. You can find these relationships in specific federal laws that Congress has passed.
    I get that there are other specific areas of law Congress has agreed to after our constitution was ratified by Congress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    When a state court overruled rural preference on subsistence, the feds took their ball and went home so to speak, and unless Congress makes the feds play ball with the state on subsistence, the feds don't have to follow the part of the state constitution that says everyone is equal, period.
    Thank you Tony Knowles

    But wait...you (feds) can not tie that decision to establish any type of "rights" to the resources for the commercial hunting industry can you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    There are a host of other examples, I just thought of that one as being a famous example. The reason that the state concurrently manages wildlife and state game and fish laws apply on federal lands has as much or more to do with ANILCA (a public law passed by Congress) as the state Constitution. If Congress chose to make ANILCA a very different document, then the relationship with the state on hunting issues might look VERY different today.
    But they didn't and you (feds) can not change that deal....can you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    As for the national preserves, again, the main difference is protecting the resources and regulating commercial activity. Part 5 of 36 CFR says you can't perform commercial activities in NPS areas without a permit or contract. That covers guides, air taxis, transporters, whoever.
    Just to be clear, I have never implied [or meant to imply] that commercial operators are not required or can not be required to be permitted to conduct commercial activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    A private hunter can access the national preserves, and hunt under state regulations because Congress says he can. No special permit is needed for the private hunter to hunt.
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    But Congress has retained the power of the federal government to decide how he gets there, and allowed the NPS to monitor the condition of the resource and make resource-related decisions outside of the state's power - including restricting hunting if need be in the future.
    How a person gets there is one thing....restricting their access is another...and restricting hunting 'seasons' is another. Each 'issue' has it's own considerations.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    The state is not allowed to perform predator control either.
    You mean on Federal lands I assume.

    Could the feds intervene on State lands in regards to predator control?

    And by the way; isn't it kind of two faced for the feds to allow the State to require that nonresidents be guided on federal lands.....and why would a nonresident have to pay more for a license or tag to hunt on federal lands than a resident. What about commercial hunting guides that sell the resources off of federal lands through some 'special' use permit? How does the gubment justify those issues?

    It's frustrating when, where, and why Feds/State trade authority when it comes to our wildlife resources.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    No, there are no areas on federal land that are exclusively for commercial hunting.
    Correct; the areas are divided up into smaller areas and THEN each smaller area IS exclusive to only one commercial hunting 'guide' operation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    But every area on NPS and USFWS land is the exclusive guiding area of a limited number of commercial outfits, to the exclusion of other guides and transporters.
    Commercial fishing comes with it's own constitutional body of law. Is there anything like that for 'COMMERCIAL HUNTING'?

    Those exclusive commercial hunting guide areas MAY NOT exclude transporters providing the general public (the noncommercial hunter) access. They (exclusive commercial hunting areas) are NOT protected in that way; by law.

    IF you think I am wrong then where or what law says that commercial hunting of wildlife resources on State or Federal lands is authorized as a protected right that would limit; trump the publics rights to access?

    There is no 'COMMERCIAL HUNTING' body of law; neither federal or state that I am aware of. There never was. What we have in Alaska is a commercial hunting industry and a system (unlike any other federal lands in the US) that won't stand up to a challenge based on commercial hunting rights to sell the resources vs publics rights to access the resource.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    And I imagine (though I don't know of any off the top of my head) that there are areas where no guiding is allowed at all, but private individuals may hunt.
    NOPE; there are no areas of either State or Federal lands that are set aside where commercial hunting is prohibited. ANYPLACE the noncommercial hunter hunts.....the commercial hunting industries is there.

    It's about time the FED's begin the process of cutting back on commercial hunting on Federal lands and prohibit commercial hunting; at least in some areas. I would prefer you do that on every acre of federal ground; especially if there is no actual provision in law for commercial hunting of the publics wildlife resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Congress has specifically hung around the NPS neck the responsibility to protect an authorized concessionaire's ability to make a fair profit.
    That I want to see in writing. Specifically how or IF in fact, this necklace applies to the commercial hunting concessions that take the publics wildlife resources to make that "fair profit" you speak of.
    Some land managers may 'think' it is their duty to protect the special interest of commercial hunting operations from the general publics intent to access.

    These 'protectionist' measures are often considered as most likely to be imposed on those who provide ONLY the transportation services to the noncommercial hunting public.

    "Limiting" air taxi's economic interest AND limiting the publics access ifor the purpose of "protecting" some perceived right of a commercial hunting operation that makes it's profit off the publics resource is BullSystem.


  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Can't speak for other agencies but the NPS would not even have to show specific damage to physical resources, they could point to degradation of other "resources" they are responsible for protecting, including wildlife numbers, conflicts between user groups and the "visitor experience."
    When it comes to hunting and open seasons over the counter tags the commercial hunting industry should be considered as the first "group" to stand down.

    ANY consideration that did not include commercial hunting as "contributing to the issues you identified above and recognize that the parks own concessions process contributes to the issues raised.....well that's just would not be up to the standards land managers use in solving the issues; right?

    You are not saying that the NPS does not or would not look at their own commercial hunting system when making such findings are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Industrial tourism is the wave of the future,
    Hey; I agree with you.

    The industrial commercial hunting industry has arrived. It's full steam ahead too unless land managers do something. 25 years of unrestricted growth and the industry is unsustainable.

    So then you would agree then that NPS commercial hunting concessions in Alaska must be on the way out because the wildlife resources do NOT fit the industrial tourism wave future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Alaska is growing and things are just going to get more crowded.
    So do you think the managers see (yet) that the first casualty of this 'wave' of industrial tourism is going to have to be the commercial hunting interests established through the NPS very own concessions process?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    Managers may choose to raise fees, close areas, restrict activities, or restrict access to meet their mandates. These things have been happening for years in the lower 48.
    I know that.

    I also believe that there are NO Commercial Hunting concessions on Federal lands in the lower 48. There must be a reason for that? What is it?

    NOW, there are outfitting businesses and there is a system of acquiring a guides license and there are hunters in the lower 48...but there is no place in the lower 48 that actually permits an individual 'guide' to 'sell' the publics resources on Federal lands AND provides the exclusive commercial hunting rights and promises 'fair profit" to the concessionaire.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    The Alaska constitution is no barrier. The political process may well be, of course.
    Actually; the constitution does provide a barrier. It is established by the constitution to PROTECT and conserve wildlife resources for the people. BUT you are correct; it's clearly NOT functioning as a barrier.

    Even under Federal law the special interest of the commercial hunting industry that takes the publics resources for profit is not protected is it? Even Federal law protects wildlife for the people and NOT for the commercial hunting industry.

    Federal managers have no right to breech Alaska's constitutional barrier by providing for the special interest of the commercial hunting industry access to the publics wildlife resources through concessions.

    Protecting commercial hunting profits is a 'system' that enables and energizes the political process.

    I would think of all the people who should understand that commercial hunting is bad for the resources would be the land managers of the NPS, USF&W.

    I would think they would be LOOKING for ways to get a handle on the commercial hunting "industry" before imposing penalties on the the noncommercial hunters and reducing wildlife resources to the point there at today in Alaska.

    Maybe the NPS, USF&W, and the State just want to get the hunting over with; and the sooner the better. There likely is no better way to do that other than to pretend the concessions system is a 'good thing' and 'ignore' the global impact of the commercial hunting industry till there is no hunting left?


  16. #16

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    Avalanche,

    You are reading way more into my posts than I intended. Prolly my fault, with my being so verbose.

    My only intent was to explain the state of the law and policy as I understand it currently, without advocating either way. Certainly not to sound frosty while doing it.

    I do work for the federal government, but I am not a policy maker, at least not at the level that would impact any of the things you are discussing. I am a policy reader, and a policy implementer.

    I have no love of how guiding currently exists in this state, as one who hunts privately and has no income derived from the guiding industry. I could go through point by point how I think the state guiding system is flawed, but those points are captured so much better by other individuals on numerous other threads on this site. So long as there are members of the public who wish to be guided on hunting trips, on federal lands where hunting is allowed, then IMO federal managers will be inclined to provide for that opportunity alongside private hunters.

    My point in numerous posts above is to say that if the resources (and in NPS areas all those other values I listed in my previous post) are in danger, then everything is on the table. Commercial, private, access, fees, everything. IF it is your opinion that the commercial stuff should be the first to go, well, that is your opinion. I'm telling you that your opinion may or may not match what will actually happen. I think that federal policy makers see one advantage of guided hunting concessions being that they can more closely control what goes on, which isn't true with private hunters.

    And there is no unlimited right to access, and furthermore life is not fair. We will have to agree to disagree about how it is. You can continue to advocate about how the world should be, as is your right, but I will abstain from this point forward

    I see a lot of different user groups and businesses in conflict during discussions on this site, advocating this, asserting that, how each of their individual arguments and "rights" trumps that of others. Some great experts on the subjects posting, and the knowledge displayed on the site can sometimes be breathtaking. Yours included.

    But, constitutional law and the finer points of agency regulations is not the area of expertise of most individuals in this nation. Which is a shame. I'm sorry I bothered to share what knowledge I've gained after two decades of experience and training I can tell you that it appears from your posting that - in my opinion - your understanding about the relationship between the state and the federal government is somewhat incorrect.

    As for your wish to read in writing about how the NPS handles its concessionaires, I'm afraid I can only give you a paper blizzard. It is called the NPS Concessions Reform Act of 1998, as amended by the Concessions Reform Act of 2007. There is a lot of stuff on Google about both.

    Goodnight. I'd go flying but the plane is in the shop

  17. #17

    Default Well thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    And there is no unlimited right to access, and furthermore life is not fair. We will have to agree to disagree about how it is. You can continue to advocate about how the world should be, as is your right, but I will abstain from this point forward
    K..I do know the right to access is not unlimited. I also know there are 'rules' regarding how access limits are implemented and the rules regarding who those limits are imposed on and why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    But, constitutional law and the finer points of agency regulations is not the area of expertise of most individuals in this nation. Which is a shame.
    Just reading law and regulation raises questions best answered for me by anecdotal evidence which you did of course provide. But just because something is implemented is no assurance that it lines up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    I'm sorry I bothered to share what knowledge I've gained after two decades of experience and training I can tell you that it appears from your posting that - in my opinion - your understanding about the relationship between the state and the federal government is somewhat incorrect.
    Well I am sorry I am so hard headed too. I did not at all intend to discount your background experience and training OR waste your time. I admit that I don't trust bureaucrats to actually always "know" what they are talking about and it seems they often interject their own bias.

    I also have not had much luck with getting straight answerers to questions from gubment employees either. That's due to the way I articulate the question or the assumptions I may make in arriving at the question; so that bad luck is freely attributed to my flaws.

    I'll go back and read all the stuff you did write when I have some un-distracted time. Trust me, I do wish to come to a more correct understanding of the state and federal relationship you are trying to impart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer331 View Post
    As for your wish to read in writing about how the NPS handles its concessionaires, I'm afraid I can only give you a paper blizzard. It is called the NPS Concessions Reform Act of 1998, as amended by the Concessions Reform Act of 2007. There is a lot of stuff on Google about both.
    Ohh s... ok I will look for the answer you did not give me. I probably wouldn't just "take" your word for it anyway


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