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Thread: DNR destruction of remote cabins

  1. #1
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    Default DNR destruction of remote cabins

    The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Fish and Game are on a witch hunt to destroy remote (survival type) cabins. Some of these cabins have been known for actually saving the lives of those who have become stranded, lost or weathered in while out enjoying the great outdoors. Actual documentation has been left behind by parties who were fortunate enough to have found shelter; had they not, their stories could've had a grave ending. Do these departments wish such things?

    Certain groups have been working diligently with these departments to try and keep these important structures in place. Many of these structures have been in place for decades, and over the course of the years, passers-by have always lent their hand in making sure that emergency provisions are available. The departments claim that there are no programs, funding, etc for keeping these structures in place. My question is, why should there be?? Fellow outdoor enthusiasts have done a fine job handling this for years, at their own cost and labor efforts.

    I've been caught in white-out conditions while snowmachining in the mountains, and nearly needed to make use of one of these cabins. I HAVE had to make use of one during the big flood in 2006. The cabin we found was as primitive as it could get, missing half the floor.....but it had a wood stove, and we were able to make a fire to dry our clothing and warm ourselves while we waited out part of the storm. I am extremely grateful for that gift that day; in my opinion, the benefits of these structures remaining in place far outweigh the State's reasoning for removal.

    Your thoughts?

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    Default More info please

    Quote Originally Posted by TMS View Post
    The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Fish and Game are on a witch hunt to destroy remote (survival type) cabins.
    This is the first I've heard of this. Where can I find more information on exactly what the state is doing?

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    My thoughts are they have been tearing them down for well over 20 yrs. Almost that long ago I worked for a helicopter & the state would charter our machines to find the cabins before destroying them.
    Their primary reasoning as I understand it is liability. It's on state land, & if the roof falls on somebody's head the state is afraid of being sued.
    My personal view has always been they need to leave them alone.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by endurefun View Post
    This is the first I've heard of this. Where can I find more information on exactly what the state is doing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in AK View Post
    My thoughts are they have been tearing them down for well over 20 yrs. Almost that long ago I worked for a helicopter & the state would charter our machines to find the cabins before destroying them........
    It isn't just the state. BLM is doing it on federal lands, the Army is doing it on Army lands, and Native organizations are doing it on native lands.

    And they're not widely broadcasting these efforts...........

  5. #5

    Default So what's the alternative?

    Someone builds a cabin on land they don't own. They know it, but they do it anyway.
    What do you propose we - as in all of us - do in these cases?

    You seem to suggest we just leave them alone - just let them stay. If so, do we allow more cabins to be built on gov't land next year, too? Where do we stop?

  6. #6
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsiutoo View Post
    Someone builds a cabin on land they don't own. They know it, but they do it anyway.
    What do you propose we - as in all of us - do in these cases?....
    I'm not going to do a thing, and as far as I'm concerned, you can do as you please, whether that's to build a trespass cabin, burn one down, etc.

    It just doesn't touch off my trigger. I'm just pointing out what I know..........cause I've destroyed a couple myself on official business.

    ....You seem to suggest we just leave them alone - just let them stay.......
    If I'm not on official business, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

    I have a natural aversion to burning down shacks. I don't know. It feels funny. Kinda' like arson.

    I know of a couple of shacks that have been used as emergency shelters for decades. They've even saved a few lives. They might even have been burnt down by now. The last time I know a guy got stranded there was at least 20 years ago.

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    Good point, and one that the state themselves have brought up. However, one of these cabins has been in place since before statehood and once that went into place, a permit was obtained to use this cabin as a trapping/guiding base for a nominal annual fee. The records of this are still held by the widower, good thing as the state doesn't have any record of it "unless it is in the dusty downstairs in Juneau" and no one is willing to go down there to look for it. The "lease" ran out years ago....many of those folks from that time are no longer here with us today and it just kind of died along with them.

    Liability issues are another concern expressed by the state, and agreeably too many people are sue happy these days. However, many of the outdoor enthusiasts who frequent the area and are familiar with these cabins are happy to lend a hand with maintenance issues. If someone sees something that needs to be fixed, then you can usually bet that by the end of the year that someone has come along and fixed it. Those of us that are out in these remote areas alot know the importance of these shelters.

    I'm saying that these cabins should be left alone, many of them should probably be "grandfathered"..... there are articles and police reports available from search and rescue groups from around the state that solidify the need for such structures to remain in place. Without them, I'm afraid more lives would've been lost to the great AK outdoors. :-(

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    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS View Post
    Good point, and one that the state themselves have brought up. However, one of these cabins has been in place since before statehood and once that went into place, a permit was obtained to use this cabin as a trapping/guiding base for a nominal annual fee. The records of this are still held by the widower, good thing as the state doesn't have any record of it "unless it is in the dusty downstairs in Juneau" and no one is willing to go down there to look for it......
    Yup.

    Lots of folks don't know that the thousands of abandoned buildings, including mine buildings, are available to be leased from the state for a variety of purposes.

    In many cases, it beats burning them up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS View Post
    Good point, and one that the state themselves have brought up. However, one of these cabins has been in place since before statehood and once that went into place, a permit was obtained to use this cabin as a trapping/guiding base for a nominal annual fee. The records of this are still held by the widower, good thing as the state doesn't have any record of it "unless it is in the dusty downstairs in Juneau" and no one is willing to go down there to look for it. The "lease" ran out years ago....many of those folks from that time are no longer here with us today and it just kind of died along with them.
    (
    My father in law had one of these "lease agreements" on a cabin. It was good only for the individual that filed it & not any of his survivors. When he passes away the agreement becomes void & the cabin(will) can be destroyed as I understand it. There was also some paperwork to keep up which he neglected to do so I believe he lost the "lease" anyway.

    Mark, we used to do a lot of flying for the park service in the 90s as they found & burned cabins, so you are right, it's not just the state.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Been there, done that on the lease options. It's a no go except for one last option that a couple of groups are working on, however DNR & F&G are hot on the matter and these cabins will likely be destroyed before this last option will have the opportunity to go thru. They have actually been quite fanatical about it, or at least certain members of certain organizations. For example, one trooper has actually gone into local businesses and bragged and laughed about burning these cabins down; given what these cabins have provided to needy individuals over the years and his chosen profession, that is certainly disheartening to hear. :-/

  11. #11

    Default DNR

    I was at the Motor mushers cabin the day they landed. I read the vacate letter.

    I called the contact person and he told me they started because people were complaining that they could'nt use the cabin.

    I think it is wrong, but they are going to do whatever they want. I do know people have been told this and nothing has happened..

    Good luck

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    [quote=nature calls;343038]I was at the Motor mushers cabin the day they landed. I read the vacate letter. I called the contact person and he told me they started because people were complaining that they could'nt use the cabin.


    Interesting, as that is what they are saying about *all* the cabins in that area that are set to be destroyed. Who are these "people" that are making these "complaints"??!! The Motor Mushers cabin is empty every time we pass by; that is usually one of our "stops" both coming in and going out when we're out hunting or playing and never has it been unable to be "used".

    There is a "show of interest" form in downtown Willow that people who are interested in helping to keep these cabins available as survival cabins can sign. If you or anyone you know would like to support this issue, please have them stop in and sign!

  13. #13
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by nature calls View Post
    I was at the Motor mushers cabin the day they landed. I read the vacate letter.......
    You mean they're going to burn up the Motor Mushers cabin in Hatcher's Pass?

    I've stopped there on cold snowmobiling days and started a fire in the stove myself a couple of times to warm up my fingers.

    Dumb. Just downright dumb.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    You mean they're going to burn up the Motor Mushers cabin in Hatcher's Pass?

    I've stopped there on cold snowmobiling days and started a fire in the stove myself a couple of times to warm up my fingers.

    Dumb. Just downright dumb.
    What is even dumber, is that they paid to have one built and put in on the pass between Fairbanks and Central. Maybe they want to pay to have a brand new one in Hatcher's Pass as well, so they have their name on it instead of a local club. Doubt it though. If they could make the trail itself go away, they would do that to. These guys and gals are as anti-people as they come.

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    One of you "leave it up" guys should post your address. I'll come build a POS shanty on your property and see what you have to say about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    One of you "leave it up" guys should post your address. I'll come build a POS shanty on your property and see what you have to say about it.
    49399 island lake road, nikiski, AK 99635
    The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.

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    Default I'm curious

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    One of you "leave it up" guys should post your address. I'll come build a POS shanty on your property and see what you have to say about it.
    What would lead you to a nasty comment like that?

    I can almost understand native groups wanting trespass or old cabins off their land, but the other lands mention, be they Park Service, BLM, USFS, DNR, Ntl. Wildlife Refuge, etc.... isn't that really OUR land anyway? So what if there are cabins here and there? They save lives and allow human beings to enjoy the country. The bulk of them are on public land, not private land.

    My opinion is that many of these cabins encourage human usage of the lands, and the radicals in these organizations don't like that at all. They want it to be wilderness, free from the taint of human corruption (read "A Country Gone Lonesome" by Dan O'Neill to see how this works).

    I worked for the USFS in southeast in the 1970s when the Forest Service was going around the Tongass forests burning old canneries, cabins, even an entire community built by Finns who had died out. What a shame! Many were used by hunters and fishermen when the weather turned bad. The FS wanted to control the cabins and make money from them I think.

    Anyway, I would like to know what would make any regular guy, which I assume describes you Pid, approve the destruction of structures ON PUBLIC LAND, that aid human use.

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    times are a changing!
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  19. #19
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    One of you "leave it up" guys should post your address. I'll come build a POS shanty on your property and see what you have to say about it.
    Too late. The kids down the road already did so.

    It's still down there, too.

    Kids need a place to play, too, you old grouch.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgreen View Post
    49399 island lake road, nikiski, AK 99635
    Pony up Pid. Talk is cheap huh. Do you have a clue about the level effort and expense others have had to pony up to get those cabins in these remoted places. I was actually a part of building the Motor Mushers Cabin on the ridge above Purchess Creek. It was a really big deal and hundreds if not thousands have used it since. I am saddened each time a piece of history is lost to nonsense.

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