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Thread: 1/4 mile from publicly maintained road or trail

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    Member Mountain Man Jack's Avatar
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    Default 1/4 mile from publicly maintained road or trail

    I was out stomping around today looking for a spot to set up this spring. I found a nice cluster of trees with a clearing surrounded by brush. I plugged in the coordinates into my mapping software and found out I wasn't too far from a power line.
    Does anyone know if a power line is considered a publicly maintained trail? It seems this description can be kind of vague.

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    Only F&G can tell you for sure, but I don't think so. It is not maintained with the intention of providing the public access. It's not maintained by a public (in the normal use of the term, like FS, BLM, Fed, State, or County road depts, etc) agency.
    Vance in AK.

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

  3. #3

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    I don't know how you would find it, but last summer there was a thread by someone who was fined for baiting too close to something off of the "Snug Harbor Road" in Cooper landing, AK. it was a long thread, and he did a fair amount of research......as I recall the land was public, buy Chugach Electric had an easement. It was about June of last year.

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    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    A buddy told me a while back that power lines are public land and that anyone can hunt on them. Then I bought a house and a power line runs through my backyard on my land, and GVEA has an easement to the land or something. I would check with F&G to be sure.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitewolf2025 View Post
    A buddy told me a while back that power lines are public land and that anyone can hunt on them. Then I bought a house and a power line runs through my backyard on my land, and GVEA has an easement to the land or something. I would check with F&G to be sure.

    just to clarify white wolf, not all utility easements are public... yours may well still be private though if GVEA needs access to the utilities you must grant it... that does NOT mean you must grant all people access down it.

    most subdivisions will have both utility and public access points on a plat .. once they are fully developed those points are usually well maintained.. however some in out lying areas are flags on a tree still ....

    read your plat.. if you have a utility easement you may well be able to gate it and restrict access to GVEA



    and to answer more of the OP ....

    some ROADS are private maintained though still roads that need 1/4 mile

    many power lines in the state do not have trails or roads along them.. though they are traveled by ATV.. you do not necessarily need to be 1/4 mile from them... though it would be a good idea if you want to be left alone of prying eyes, and sticky fingers..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member AK145's Avatar
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    It's all in the legal definition of "publicly maintained"....to me, if the road has no maintainance done on it...how is it a publicy maintained road?

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK View Post
    It's all in the legal definition of "publicly maintained"....to me, if the road has no maintenance done on it...how is it a public maintained road?
    yup that will get you a ticket....just like the guy last year... improved is improved ... privately maintained or publicly... some one is on it and the trooper will site ya.. just like the young man last year.. setting up off a privately maintained utility easement


    go set one up... bring the trooper bby to inspect it and let us know how it turns out...

    1/4 is not squat to move some gear and have NOTHING to worry about
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Default Lots of research

    Went into that thread last year. I spent hours looking for definitions. I called F&G, AST/Wildlife, GVEA, even State of AK roads/highways/construction.
    Nobody, I mean nobody had a definition of "publicly maintained". It was suggested that I write the commissioner and with exact wording ask for a final decision. Somewhere I have the notes as to the specific way to question it.
    I've quoted the regs:
    "You MAY NOT set up a bear station withing one-quarter mile of a publicly maintained road, trail, the Alaska Railroad, ..."
    The inference is that "trail" as mentioned would be somehow public or publicly maintained. Otherwise any trail you made getting to your site would fall into the same category. It seems reasonable to expect trail in this circumstance to include that which public money pays to improve or maintain.
    I think this came up in the thread, but take for example the Yukon Quest trail. Parts of it are maintained by Parks and Rec. But only parts, and not for the whole year. How do you figure that out?
    We did not want the OP in that thread to give in and pay the fine as it set a precedent for enforcement.
    I never got the impression any of us were looking for loopholes. We just want to be sure we are right when we go out and avoid issues with LEO.
    People will say it is easier to move. I'll ask, how many times? Isn't it easier to get the right answer published so that we all know and then we can make reasonable, honest decisions?

  9. #9

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    Until someone secures a specific answer, I'd suggest contacting the local fish cop and ask them before setting up in your area if your off a trail and unsure. I'd then document the discussion, heck, even record it for your records. While I agree moving a 1/4 mile isn't a big deal, rules should be specific in nature and well defined. Someone should take this on and set a precedent - I've heard it discussed many times among friends and fellow hunters.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default Registration

    Great points thus far... when you register the site they can punch your coords into their database... then they can let you know if you're in a known illegal area.
    A couple miles from my site is an area where a few folks have been fined, and the tech was familiar with those infractions. Gave me yet another piece of mind.
    Doesn't necessarily mean that your site is legal, but might help in your quest.
    They also MAY have some of the local cabins, trails, etc. on their database.

    Google Earth is a great resource, especially if your hunting area has the hi-res photo's; makes it very easy to calculate distance from cabins, trails and roads.

    I do agree, the regs need to be clearer. I baited near Jim Creek a few years ago, and had a heck of a time determining if he trail I was near was considered public. Never got a referenced answer, just a bunch of opinion.

    If you're in the mood for a bureaucratic run around, try to find out if you can legally ride your ATV near either of the Trail Lakes on the Kenai Pen.

    Good luck.

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    Default Coordinates not required

    Remember, the only info on your bait site location you are required to give according to the regulations is the GMU and Sub-unit. Everything else is just extra information they would like to have.
    I am not telling anyone to not give their coordinates to F&G if they feel it is somehow beneficial to the hunter/site registrant. I am saying that regardless of what F&G personnel say, or F&W Enforcement says, that info is strictly voluntary.
    Keep in mind that the more times the info is volunteered, the more it becomes the norm. Take that any way you wish. At some point, the expectation could be that GPS exact locations are required. At that point it would only take an interested party to advocate to the Board of Game that the regulations be changed to reflect what people are already doing.
    I suggest that people take in a copy of the regs when they go to register sites so that if they choose not to provide the information, and an argument ensues, that the regulation is close at hand.
    I have heard of way too many stories of ANC and Valley F&G demanding the info and refusing to give the permits. That is simply not acceptable!

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    Member B&C 04's Avatar
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    Very true Rat...

  13. #13

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    I am the guy that got nailed last year. Here is what I've learned unless you are willing to spend a lot of money to prove you are correct then get a trooper in that area to agree with you before hand. When I went to court the judge gave me the option of guilty , not guilty , or no contest. I had to plead guilty to receive a lower conviction of only 200 or 250 dollars or I could go to court. The judge then said Lawyers are expensive.
    I believe 100% I was not violating the law but once the ticket is written you don't get to explain yourself unless you want to pay a lot of money. My partner bumped into the trooper later in the summer and the trooper said to him I really felt bad about issuing that one but since someone complained I had to.
    There is also the stipulation if you get charged with a game violation you must be finger printed even though it is reduced to a violation ie ticket.

    You won't win if your not wealthy because the system isn't set up that way. So talk to the trooper now and you won't have an issuer this spring.

    I am not mad at the officer he did go with me to locate where a good spot was that he felt was 1/4 of a mile off a publically maintained road.

    More so I think because a non- hunter found my bait he was left with no choice from his superiors .

    Oh well we live and learn.

  14. #14

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    [QUOTE=blackbear;660767]I am the guy that got nailed last year.

    Blackbear, can you find that thread, and give it a "Bump"........It was a good thread.....

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    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default 1/4 Mile Trail - Court...

    Here's the discussion from last year.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=55466&page=1

    I just read it from start to finish... I came to three conclusions:

    1 - Research is time consuming
    1a - Makes me 'understand' the high fees that lawyers charge; just because of the research.
    2 - The quarter mile rule will not be clear until someone can afford to risk jail/high fines (if they lose), and also, will need the funds to pay a lawyer.

    3 - Everyone has an opinion.

    After reading that thread, and this thread, I am concerned about my site.

    AGL4Now, you know where I bait... seems as though I'm in a grey area, no?

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    Member AK145's Avatar
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    You still have to prove that the trail or road is maintained...and if there is a big sign at the start of the road that reads "No Maintainance"....how is it publicy maintained? How do you prove a trail in the middle of the woods is actually maintained? Define Maintainance?

    This is where common sense and spirit of the law versus letter of the law come into play. I fear sometimes those three points are not taken into account.

  17. #17

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    I heard it may be legal for Joe Public to maintain an existing trail even if its not maintained or groomed anymore by the state, etc. Anyone verify this? I have yet to secure the time to take a trip downtown to talk to someone for verification on fact or fiction.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    Default Just guessing

    AK145, when you ask the question, ask it as the regulation is written, not separated. I am not concerned about "publicly" nor am I concerned about "maintained". I am concerned, in relation to bear baiting, "publicly maintained" and how that in turn relates to roads or trails.
    Somebody way smarter than I may have found the definitions somewhere. I did not. Same as by the way I have yet to find a definition of "airborne", but not to digress.
    We know of seasonally maintained roads and trails such as the Denali and Top of the World Highways and possibly some trails down in SouthCentral and in Fairbanks our very own Yukon Quest trail. The regulations speak nothing of seasonal which is unfortunate. Likewise they do not give a clear understanding of what the intent of the law is, unless you look at the whole sentence. In my opinion, and this I'll profess to mean nothing, the whole inference of the rule is that by which the public is normally expected to be able to travel on while expecting maintenance by the state or other government entity.
    Do power lines fit the bill? Not to me they don't. They are not a road, and are not a trail. But again, this is my opinion formulated after hours of research into this question. Could there be a power line that was built over a public lands pulicly maintained trail? Yes. You would have to be careful there. My sources at GVEA say access on a powerline are not what they consider to be publicly maintained, or for that matter a road or trail.
    AKOutdoorsman, that is not a bad question, but I feel it is mute until this question is answered. What was the intent of the regulation, and what do the words mean? Hypothetically, if I find your bait site, and brush the trail, am I to surmise that it is now publicly maintained and your bait site is illegal? I don't think so. Should I also surmise that a road or trail, publicly maintained in the past, but not currently, falls into the 1/4 mile category? I think not. I know of several roads that were in places moved from their original bed. Are we going to assume that the old road bed, which was publicly maintained, has to be considered as such today? Again, I think not.
    I'm just thinking out loud here. If any of you have a better answer, let's have it. We all want to know what the expectations should be.

  19. #19

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    I agree with your points Ak River Rat, and while my question wasn't meant to digress from the original point, I felt the question was related, in general, and would hold value for those who frequent these forums. It also adds to the dilemma regarding the specifics of the intent of the regulation.

    I'm interested to see if an answer can easily be secured to our question. I'm debating on sending a certified letter to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; specifically to the Board of Game in an attempt to secure an answer. My only apprehension is the unintended consequences that may come about if the Board identifies something unexpected and/or something they would rather not see if the rule is defined. We have enough regulations in this State.. in my opinion, we don't need any more.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    AK OUT DOORS...

    the bog will not answer your letter..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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