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Thread: Roads through Alaska

  1. #1

    Default Roads through Alaska

    I am totaly mystified as to why hunters in Alaska would be against new developed roads in Alaska. I have been here in Alaska since the late 70s and all i have seen is more and more people competing for the same amount of road accessable areas. Granted with the error of 4 wheelers and 6 wheelers and not the little 3 wheelers we can explore more, but is that the answer? I see people write that they do not wish to see the state criss crossed with roads like the lower 48, do they really know how remote our state is? Just think at one time we had no roads to Homer or to Fairbanks! Would a developed system to Magrath, Cordova, or even possibly towrds Bristol Bay be so bad? I think it would not spoil our state but rather open up more areas and assist the current areas from being over crowded and spoiled. One would think that if you spread the current amount of people out on a bigger area then the destruction due to over use would be slowed down. Look at the Keni! granted we are fixing the destroyed habitat, but why not expand so that the bottle neck is spread around and possibly limited. I am curious to others points of view on this subject. My opinion is we will not destroy our hunting and fishing with continued proper development but rather help make it better and help improve the current crowded conditions. Opinion?

  2. #2
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    Default No Roads

    I am totally against roads because I have seen what they have done to the remote areas of Maine just in the last twenty years. Deer numbers are down, fishing in remote ponds that was once great is no longer because you can drive right up to them. Litter along the roads because the slobs can't take an empty can out but they can bring it in.
    The new roads probably would alieviate pressure on other areas but at what cost? Not to mention habitat destruction, pollution, timber harvesting, animal/vehicle collisions. Here in northern Maine we have some moose hunters that only get out of their truck to shoot a moose that is standing in the middle of the road, same for grouse and deer. It is disgusting to see it. I see men in their thirties with their 10 year old son teaching them how to hunt that way. That isn't hunting.
    The only good thing I can see is distributing hunters over a bigger area but the bad, IMO outweighs the good by far. I would rather save up a couple of years and go back to a remote area by plane or boat then drive to it with everybody else. But thats just my opinion for what it is worth.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'll probably post again after thinking about this some more and reading other posts, but my basic thoughts are these: Roads will do little to alleviate hunter crowding, and will only serve to increase development sprawl. Furthermore, open roadless spaces are what makes Alaska truly special and unique. I would hate to lose that...even if only in a little way. Is this close-minded thinking? Perhaps. There's just too much at risk, in my opinion, and too little to gain.

    -Brian

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    Default Roads

    I'm for roads as long as once we build them we take care of them. How many times in the last couple of years has the state talked about halting mantanence on a number of roads around the state. One other thing comparing Maine to Alaska lets compare apples to apples not watermelons to grapes. Roads are not just for hunting and fishing. Its a trail leading somewere Natural resources meaning jobs for the future. Which for a father of 3 sons means alot! Alot more hunting ,fishing and JOBS. Horse

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    Default

    I'm all for more roads, and a lot of them too boot.

  6. #6

    Default roads

    Moderator, I agree open spaces are what makes Alaska special BUT we as a group are reaching the outer limits of boating and 4 wheeling access. If i owned a plane i might think differently. I think if we all thought about it we would realize with a few more roads we would find even more open and wide country that we can not even hope to access. Think about the Denali highway and all of the area it opened. Would any of us have even though of getting just as far as Suide lake without the road, it probably would have taken a week of breaking brush just to get to the trail head. This is just one example this one road litierally opened up hundreds of miles of "wide open" country, and guess what you see wild animals! If we are worried about people shooting them from the road as someone else said then put in the coridor like the haul road has. Someone mentioned the possibility of jobs that is very true. Bye no means am i saying development and pave the whole state nor would this happen nor is it possible. What i do sugges is we think when was the last time a new magor road was actually built in our state? The last one i can recall was the fiasco of a road to Cordova and that is a thread all bye itself. We would lose some of our "secret spots" but i am confident we would be able to find more. The next time you are at a trail head with 30 trucks parked after you drove two hours to get to a "remote" area think about how nice it would be to have a larger option! This is all just my opinion. Viktor

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    Default Mixed opinion ...

    Unfortunately, I am a poor man ... I don't own a plane or a boat. But I do have a truck and a 4 wheeler. I can barely afford gas for my truck to go from Fairbanks to Anchorage. So the possibility of more roads really does very little to help me ... unless the price of gas goes down (and that isn't going to happen).

    I think roads are good because it opens access for the 'common man'. If I owned a plane or a boat, I might think differently.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    You make a good point with the Denali Highway, Viktor. I used to get the Tier II permits (and hope to again someday...maybe with the change in the proxy rules), so I've utilized that area before. Heck, I might be heading that way this weekend. I'm not suggesting that new roads wouldn't be without value. I guess my fears just outweigh my trust that it would be done right. As for finding wide-open, non-crowded spaces on the road system, I think that's still very possible. But, of course, sometimes you have to hike for it.
    (And I'm not poking at the evils of ATVs...I use them too sometimes...but there's always other options)

    -Brian

  9. #9
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    Default Roads and Wildlife

    Glean what you will from this, but in the Lower 48 there is an inverse relationship between roads (and increased off-road use) and hunter opportunity. Where logging roads or other roads were put in that allowed access, hunter opportunity in terms of seasons, bag limits, and "trophy" game...has gone down.

    Alaska is unique. I'm sure our state will grow. When and where and how we grow are decisions we must look at using history as our mentor. Otherwise we are sure to repeat it.


  10. #10
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Rural alaskans are becoming more and more interested in roads. If not to the rest of the road system, at least between some key areas.
    I just don't want Mike Strahan and Homerdave driving out here and telling us how to hunt.............hahaha.

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    Victor and B_M, You both mentioned the Denali Highway, but because of the increased access it is now Tier ll. The more access, the more drawing or subsistance only hunts. And along with more roads and easy access, you also get more poaching.

  12. #12
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default anchorage to nome...?

    gee MT, i can't think of anybody that deserves a road to their community more than you...but don't worry...i won't be comiing up.

    i'll be enjoying the reduced crowds here on the kenai peninsula <grin>

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  13. #13
    New member reuben_j_cogburn's Avatar
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    Default outsiders view..

    All I can say is that for those wishing for more roads...."be careful for what you wish for............you just might get it!!!!........I say this with humor but also from being from a state with the 4th most extensive hiway system in the lower 48.... build it.. and they will come!!!... (nyuk nyuk... okay one martini to many!!)... I am moving full time to my place in Alaska soon... I just hope it (Alaska) doesn't turn into down here because it just sucks... If you want all the roads and development that will come with it, just trade with me for awhile! You guy's already have it so great compared to down here....Keep the last frontier the last frontier.............

  14. #14
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    Default roads across AK

    I think we already have too many roads across Alaska. When the roads get to Nome, King Salmon, and Chignik our great state will be like the lower 48. How many of us here would choose anywhere else to be a resident hunter?
    Les

  15. #15
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    Default If you only knew

    Horse, Matt and Viktor as Rueben said, "be careful what you wish for". I am not against jobs or access I am against the abuses that come with it. You are fortunate not to have experienced those abuses if you have lived your lives in that beautiful state.
    As far as apples to apples Maine is about as remote as it gets in the east coast. While we do not have the land mass (nobody does). You do not need to be the same size to make comparisons. Roads are roads, whether they are built in Alaska or the Sahara Desert. They bring certain things and a loss to certain things. How often do you walk through the woods and find litter? Then how ofter do you ride along a highway and find it?
    Roads in the remote woods of Northern Maine brought logging. At first it was good because it opened the canopy floor to new vegetation, our moose population exploded the deer did great too. But then more and more logging started destroying habitat. At first they left deer yards alone, then as a demand to make money became greater then the health of the deer herd deer yards became encroached upon or destroyed. Cutting closer and closer to streams opened the canopy warming up the waters and hurting the wild trout populations. I won't even get into the amount of litter I have to pick up along the gravel roads.
    Now one of the huge companies from out your way has cut up the timber on a million acres of remote land and now wants to develop it. Two big resorts and 1000 house lots that most of us in Maine cannot afford. All this in prime hunting country and along pristine trout ponds. Is this what you want?
    Corporations don't care about our natural resources unless they can make a buck off of it. The Exxon Valdez should have taught you that. If you wish for roads, so be it, but take this word of caution from someone who has experienced urban sprall, make sure you have safe guards to protect what is dear to you otherwise it will be abused or lost forever. Once it is gone it is gone forever. Remember they aren't making any more land.

  16. #16

    Default

    Mainguide,
    The Exxon Valdez created more jobs in Alaska than all our governors combined. Thousands of Alaskans have and are continuing the reap the rewards of the attempt to "Pave the Alaska Marine Highway". A lot of small communities entire infrastructure is based on expenditures of monies from Exxon and the settlement. Perhaps the good people from Maine could learn a lot from that incident and make the developers reimburse the state for their destruction of habitat. No doubt some of those lawyers are still around.
    My opinion, roads YES, trails YES, access YES.

  17. #17
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    Default Jobs at What Cost

    Exactly what I was saying. Jobs at what cost??? How many animals were destroyed? Fish? Birds? Sea Otters?
    How about the shoreline? Is it the same as it was before? How about the fishermen who lost their boats and livelyhoods? I know two years ago when I was in Cordova they still weren't to happy there about the shape of things. Fishing boats for sale in the harbor because there was noone to buy them. They weren't praising the money coming in from the Exxon Valdez.
    So they gave you a penny (because that was what it was to them) to satisfy you. But at what cost???

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    Default roads in the bush

    I have very mixed feelings about roads in the bush. As a former bush teacher I think building roads to bush communities will only make it easier for drugs and alcohol to get in and cause more problems in some already dysfunctional villages.

    Having said, I am all for opening some roads into the bush. The economic gains for the state are great, although the cost of building these roads and the upkeep may outweigh any actual financial gains, the ability to provide easier access to hunting and fishing grounds throughout the state would be great.

  19. #19
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somewebguy
    the ability to provide easier access to hunting and fishing grounds throughout the state would be great.
    As Mark pointed out, increased roads doesn't always mean increased access to hunting. There's a reason why the vast majority of drawing permit hunts are either on the road system or near heavily traveled river corridors. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but most in most areas a limited number of hunters is directly related to ease of access. I thought most on here didn't want more hunts restricted to drawing permits.

    -Brian

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_M
    I thought most on here didn't want more hunts restricted to drawing permits.
    I agree, I don't necessarily want more drawing hunts, but easier access would be nice. I may not feel this way if I had a better paying job though.

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