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Thread: what do you think the definition of a is?

  1. #1

    Default what do you think the definition of a is?

    What do you think is the definition of a publically maintained road according to your baiting permit. I received a citation for being within a 1/4 mile of a publically maintained road or trail. All my research says its owned by usfs but maintained by chugach electric for maintenace vehicles. the trooper had me move my bait and said he would ask at court to reduce it from criminal to a ticket for $500 with 250 suspended but everything i find shows no maintanience and in the winter snowmachines arent even allowed to use it. The trooper said he called 7 agencies to know it was publically maintained. I researched online DOT CHUCHACH ELECTRIC forestery. and everything mention chugach built the road under permit for mainentance vehicles its not part of a trail head in the dot documents and they say it is not managed. The trooper did walk to where a 1/4 of the roads was with us and i understand his not wanting someone injured but from the main road i was a mile off that so because a hiker found my bait i need to go to court . I am wondering what do you think the reg means and will a judge take into consideration these documents.

  2. #2
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    If you show the judge the documentation you have it may very well get thrown out. The regulations state "publicly maintained" road or trail. I take that to mean the state, borough or city is maintaining it. You have two angles: what is publicly, and what is "maintained?" That should be enough there. Also, if you did everything about the bait correctly, showing no criminal intent, that will also play well in your favor.

  3. #3

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    If it's owned by the USFS isn't it open to the public? Chugach Electric maintains it for them so they can access whatever equipment they have in the area. I don't know, I think this might be a tough one but I would still fight it. It appears that the road is open to the public and not off limts, maybe that's why he thinks it's a publically maintained trail.

  4. #4

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    The officer did say our bait was the cleanest he had ever seen and everything was as it was supposed to be except the distance from the road .

  5. #5

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    O.K. Don't jump on me. But just turning it around, what is a road that is "Not" publicly maintained....? Maybe a privately maintained road...? Chugach is a public Company. The land is Public Land. I don't know...? 98% of the bait stations along the Hope Road are less than 200 yards off the Chugach Powerline. And many are only 100 yards off the powerline.

  6. #6

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    I don't think chugach is a public company it is a coop of owners. I understand the public land issue the other part is maintained what qualifies as maintained as you say in hope there are several spots is a powerline publicly maintained. I am not going to jump on you because i think there is an expectation that a road is cared for using public funds to keep it to a safe level. This is not cared for using public funds nor is it cared for itis more of a very muddy trail .I dont mind being wrong and paying a fine i just cannot find a clear definition of publically maintained. In hope a lot of pepole bait illegally according to some of your posts. My intent is to not break any laws or harm any person however in order to not violate a law there should be a clear understanding. I did speak wioth USFS today and they said that road was built by chugach and maintained by chugach as part of their agreement and they do not count itas part of thier trail system or as having a trailhead because they dont want the resposibility to maintain it. So I am just listening to all opions as you are my peers.

  7. #7

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    My Company is NON-Public or private. I own 100%. Chugach has board or director that we vote for. They have members not shareholders. A Credit Union is a public Co, with Members and not shareholders. I do not expose my books to the public, they both publish their P&L statement and Financial Statement.

  8. #8

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    i quess that still leaves me in a situation of asking the question then what is the definition of a publically maintanied road because with your theory all baits must be a quarter of a mile off the road or trail. I don't think that is the intent of the law but I may be wrong and will find out from a judge i guess.

  9. #9
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    Default Look in the AK Administrative Code

    The AAC may provide some answers. If you query "publicly maintained roads" (proper spelling and try it with and without quotes, you'll find 1 reference in Title 4, Education, and 2 in Title 5, Fish and Game.
    In both I only find mention of the words, not the definition. Title 4 says, "... lacking year-round, publicly-maintained road access to other district schools; or...."
    Title 5 says "... one-quarter mile of a publicly maintained road, trail, or the Alaska Railroad;..." and "... in Units 12 and 20(E) within one-quarter mile of any publicly maintained road, by using a snare..."
    There is also mention of "publicly maintained" in Title 13 and 15. When you read the different titles, it sure does not look like publicly maintained references in any way power lines cleared by a utility.
    In some references, publicly maintained alludes to or references maintenance by government. References also mention highways, and that leads to public access. So public access and publicly maintained seem to be very different items.
    Power lines may be easements for access. On private property, that does not give the public the right to trespass, or utilize that easement. On public property, the rules again seem to be different.
    Bottom line, I don't have an answer yet. I suggest you go to the Troopers office to ask them for the reference, which may or may not be on the ticket. The DA may have answers also. By utilizing the DA you may not only find the answer, but find a way to eliminate going to court.
    If court is mandatory, I'll suggest a lawyer. Hate to see you spend the money, but right now you have to ask if losing is worth saving a buck?

  10. #10

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    I would contact Chugach Electric Co. Dept. of Right of Way's. And try to get a letter from him. I hope you win in court; However it appears this Bear Baiting regulation needs some work on many different factors. It would be more gooooder to clean it up from a pro-active, self policing position, than a defensive position.

  11. #11

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    i appreciate all the response . I am not going into this defensively I am going to explain the position that I looked at the a road to bait off and then the arteeries coming off that road. the main highway I assumed is publically maintained. So instead of being a 1/4 mile off that I went over a mile I reseached if there were any trails by the forest service and there where none listed. I set my baits according to the law and tried to be clean , neat and have little impact on the area. My intent was not to break any law and from the five agencies I can find so far none of them agree that it is publically maintained but they cant give me a definition. Chugach is supposed to get with me today regarding the road . Here is an example Snug Harbor road was also built by Chugach and maintained jointly by usfs and chugach it was built to get to the cooper lake aquaduct and dam .Chugach also has a few turnouts on the road that are gated for thier vehicles USFS does not maintain this road and in some parts it is out of thier area .At the same time everyone assumes it is a public maintained road yet in the winter no maintainence occurs at a certain point because chugach doesnt plow it. Then snow machiners use it in winter so as part of the new hydroelectric licensing usfs and others request chugach to build outside toilets and a parking pullout because of traditional use but chugach has to maintain these as part of the license not usfs . I am not baiting off snug harbor but even on that which everyone would assume is public the clarification is cloudy

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    Default Dept of Transportation?

    Did you contact them to see if they have a definition of "publicly maintained" and "road" and "trail" and all of them together?
    Again, don't be afraid to contact F&G to ask them as well as AST Wildlife Enforcement.
    You bring out an interesting point about seasonal roads. The Denali Hwy is maintained seasonally. So during the dead of winter is it still a publicly maintained road?
    Please post any definitions and quote the resource if possible. I am still waiting for a response from F&G on my question regarding registering bait sites and hope to get answers out to all of you soon.

  13. #13
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Good luck buddy, hope the judge has more sense than the trooper. I had a somewhat similar situation last year with a very "cloudy" issue, I knew the law and thought I was just fine, F & G thought I fine, trooper said no. After much talk they did the same thing, "well we'll reduce it to a ticket", gee thanks, I guess that was supposed to make me feel better, losing $250. Judge didn't even think about it, just went with what they recommended, explained it to them thinking no way they'll ticket me, nope. In my case, and yours from the sounds of it, trooper could of used just a LITTLE common sense under the circumstances and just asked to move. Hope yours turns out better, I've got no time for law enforcement anymore, anytime I've had any contact whatsover with them I remeber why I can't stand em'. They won't be getting any more help from me, like the time I turned in 2 caribou poachers, which they caught, prosecuted, and got thousands of dollars in fines out of them. I even mentioned that to the judge and was told "I hope you'll continue to help us do our job and sorry for the fine blah blah blah". Fat chance. Bitter still? yep. Good luck.

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    Default ideas

    First off, the caveat. I am not a lawyer. I am not suggesting in any way that you use this information in a court of law. I do believe it would be prudent on your behalf to take a professional into the courtroom with you, that is if winning is important.
    I have yet to lay my hands on the definitions that you seek. But I am closer. The information below comes from 2 employees in state agencies. Let's see if it helps.
    First off, what is a road or a trail? Well, highways and right of ways are described in 5 A.A.C. but not as yet, the others. If you take highways and extrapolate that to roads and trails, they are designed primarily for travel.
    A publicly maintained road/trail is one that is maintained or caused to be maintained by a gov't entity, working for the people. They maintain them via gov't funds, taxpayer dollars, while utilizing resources such as personnel, equipment, and contractors. They could also be maintained directly by the public as in a self maintained neighborhood. (I live in one, and we maintain the road system ourselves.)
    In that vein, a powerline in and of itself does not fall into either category. The access on that powerline is only there in support of the line and not designed essentially for travel, or to get from one point to another. The problem may lie in the aspect of a trail.
    For instance, F&G in Fairbanks maintains a trail system at Creamers Field. They use money and resources to improve and maintain the trail for public access and travel.
    Also, DNR and Parks/Rec maintains in part the Yukon Quest Trail. At least that part of the trail, when maintained as described by gov't, and therefore the public, would fit into the road/trail as described in Title 5 of the AAC and the section on bear baiting restrictions. Note to interior baiters: Be careful if you are baiting near the Yukon Quest trail, White Mountain Trails, etc. Even though a trail may only be maintained seasonally, it appears that the "maintenance" aspect or regulation applies year around.
    In your case, you need to determine if any gov't entity has maintained, or caused to be maintained that powerline access as a "trail" for public use (which you indicate you did prior to baiting, and after the ticket).
    The Utility Company, or Cooperative, is not a government entity. They are essentially private, even if a cooperative of the customer base. And unless maintained as such, the access is not a road or a trail.
    You indicated that you checked with USFS, and they indicated that the Utility utilizes/maintains the access, and that the USFS does not list that on any document, map etc as a trail, is that correct?
    So, it looks as if your position in your thread and response is right on target. I'd vote for you. But unfortunately it is not up to me. I might suggest again that you dig into the info the Trooper came up with. If you get a lawyer, my assumption is that whatever the Trooper has may be made available to you with the proper request.
    And let me add that I like your style. No yelling, no whining, just stating the facts and you want your name cleared. Good luck, I sincerely hope it comes out in your favor based on everything you have told us to date.

  15. #15

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    [QUOTE=Ak River Rat;502977]They maintain them via gov't funds, taxpayer dollars, while utilizing resources such as personnel, equipment, and contractors.
    In your case, you need to determine if any gov't entity has maintained, or caused to be maintained that powerline access as a "trail" for public use (which you indicate you did prior to baiting, and after the ticket).
    The Utility Company, or Cooperative, is not a government entity. end Quote:




    Chugach Electric Receives Millions, and Millions of dollars from Homeland Security, (about $16,MILLION I think) to clear brush, and overhanging trees, from the Right of Way.
    I hope you win your case, but as you say it is way more cloudy an issue than it at first appears. And if you win, hunters should be proactive in clarifying the regulations. Or the Bambi's & Greenies will take the lead...

  16. #16

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    i appreciate all the response I will do more checking but I am hoping that I can reason and use the descriptions available from ACC and also If I end up paying I do but my intent was to do everything ethically and honestly. I do think its a cloudy issue that before this happened I though was cut and dry since everyone has been so helpful the road is cooper dam road . thanks everyone

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    Default point taken

    Now I am out on my own. Hope comes up with some points that need review. But keep in mind that, the primary question in this thread, is defined, or should be defined, in regulations. Therefore, define "road" "trail", and "publicly maintained road/trail".
    The funds used that you describe are being used for what? To clear brush or growth from a power line or to "maintain a road". We can't confuse the issue with guesses. It is possible that AST has already done that,and as Blackbear has not digressed to name calling, I will not either.
    We need, as allies of fellow hunters, to help define what the regulations mean when they make reference to something. Again, the reference is specific to roads and trails, not brush along a river, or power line, or anything else.
    These are the same issue I have had recently with several places that I do business. People want to read into a process or procedure what they think it means, not what it says, or what the intent is.
    So if the question is,"did the Utility take money from any government source", is answered with a yes, then the next question is, in what context. What was the specific reason that the money was given and used? If it was not for roads and trails (as defined), the point is mute.
    Hope brings out the "devils advocate" side, but reasonably. And doing so makes us continue to engage in positive ways. Keep in mind though that the question can only be answered by narrowing the scope to exactly what is written in the regs and not expanding the conversation beyond that. In essence, the reference to Homeland Security providing funds may have merit, but the reference to clearing brush (unless specifically for roads/trails) and "Right of Way" does not.

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    Do not be distracted by whether Chugach Electric receives $$$ to clear brush. That argument may lend credibility to whether your road is Federally considered a road, but that's not what you're looking into.

    IMO, and it's just my opinion, if the public is not allowed to drive registered vehicles (cars/trucks) on the surface, it's not a public road. You may be granted access, but that does not make it a public road.
    I'd try and contact all the appropriate agencies before I got back with the trooper. That way if he gets one answer from one place, you have yours as well.

    Hopefully, this works out for you. The troopers do seem to come from the position of 'write tickets now, let the court sort it out later.'
    Last edited by Dr.No; 05-27-2009 at 22:28. Reason: road does not belong to utility...whoops

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    Unhappy good luck

    I know of several cases like this where mistakes like this were followed through until court then dismissed just t o teach a lesson so I hope thats what happens to you also. I dont know what they have to gain by prosecuting you for this issue. Those power company accesses are all over the place and they sure arent maintained for the public as trails or roads but thats just me. In the future, I just used my rangefinder to get the quarter mile measured.....
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Ok...so I've had a little more time to think about this. The regs state:

    "A bait station may not be established within one-quarter mile from publicly maintained roads, trails, or the Alaska Railroad. This includes logging roads, if they are publicly maintained."

    It seems to me that your most solid position is that the road is not publicly maintained; Chugach maintains the road and Chugach is not a public entity (I think AK River Rat explained that fairly well below).

    I take the definition of publicly maintained to mean "maintained using public funds"
    Last edited by Dr.No; 05-28-2009 at 17:39. Reason: definition of publicly maintained

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