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Thread: Important Hatchers pass Information!!!!

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    Member letshunt's Avatar
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    Default Important Hatchers pass Information!!!!

    I am coping this from another forum with the original persons permission.

    "So my wife is a teacher at the local middle school and received this email from one of co-workers. Emphasis added by me.

    Skiers in the crowd:

    If you support a world class Nordic and Alpine ski area at Hatcher Pass please try to attend the next MSB assembly meeting March 2/Tuesday, 6:30pm Assembly Chambers, Mat-Su Boroush Bldg (Reso. 10-11). The motor heads (aka snow machines, ATV, motor cycles) are trying to create a new motorized corridor through the Government Peak alpine and nordic ski areas. As you know a world class nordic ski venue has been planned to begin construction this spring off of Edgerton Park Rd. This will be a top quality venue, with day lodge, lighted trails and full time maintenance. If you've ever been to Eska Peak multi use area you will quickly and easily see that a ski venue and motorized use are not compatible. Snow machines, motor cycles & ATV's have few boundaries...

    The proposed ski area will bring only positives to Mat-Su: Jr & Masters ski programs, professional instruction and exposure, another area for kids to begin healthy lifestyle choices, potential National events, AND its fun for the whole family! The list of positives is endless. Allowing a motorized corridor smack dab in the middle of it would be disastrous and many believe (including the motor heads) it would lead to the eventual demise of a ski area of any kind. I agree.

    Please contact your assembly members in support of a non-motorized ski venue (www.matsugov.us/Assembly ). Specifically, Jim Colver (a Mat-Su ski club member) is one of our biggest supporters of a Hatcher Pass Ski area. The skiers out numbered the motorheads 5 - 1 in the last meeting. But, the motor heads use tea party tactics, yell, boo, and hiss and do a great job of being obnoxiously vocal at these meetings. Please try to attend and you are welcome to forward this email on to those who care. Thx, --**** ****, Mat-Su Ski Club Member

    What:
    March 2, 2010
    Borough Assembly Meeting - Public Hearing
    Proposed Hatcher Pass Motorized Corridor (Reso. 10-11)
    6:30 PM
    Assembly Chambers
    Mat-Su Borough Bldg.
    350 E. Dahlia Ave.
    Palmer
    www.matsugov.us/Assembly"

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    Member letshunt's Avatar
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    Here is his response:

    My wife forwarded his email to me and this is my initial reply.

    Mr Jones,

    My name is Cory *****, ***** is my wife and is how I received your email. I would first like to thank you for your email because it has and will be posted on a number of "motor head" sites and should help motivate more people who use the area to come to the meeting on the 2nd. I personally, have spend years listening to non-motorized users, more often than not nordic skiers complain about all motorized use of any area regardless of designation and frankly i have had my fill. I was born and raised in Alaska, have lived here my entire life and am now raising my own family in the Mat-Sue area. In the winter i am an avid snowmachiner and snowboarder. During our summer months I spend every weekend on either my mountain bike (xc or downhill) or dirt bike. Many of these weekends have been spent in the Hatcher Pass area which I have enjoyed since i was 8 years old skiing 16 mile while one of my parents shuttled me and my friends up and down. The reason i relate thise details is two fold: First i am not just a loud obnoxious "motor head" that has no respect or appreciation for other forms of activities, and second i have spent the last 25+ years enjoying the Alaskan outdoors and Hatcher Pass specifically. In all of my time in the backcountry, generally i have found the only people who have an issue with other users are skiers, most commonly nordic skiers. This group seems to be he ones that are either unwilling or unable to share the vast Alaskan backcountry. Also it is important to keep in mind Hatcher Pass is state PUBLIC land, it is NOT a wilderness area. Public land is designed to be enjoyed by the public, all of the public, not just limited to specific users. And yes i have heard the old tired argument that "we are not against motorized users but this just isn't the right place or time." Except it is irrelevant what the time and place is, you and those who think like you will NEVER be in favor of allowing motorized access and ALWAYS be in favor of limiting or eliminating it. I could go on and on but i'm sure my comments, opinions, and arguments will simply continue to fall on deaf ears. I am just sick of the close minded, hollier-than-thow, elitist attitude spewed forth by people who use terms such as "motor heads" and "tea party tactics" in the context of your email.

    The skiers out numbered the motorheads 5 - 1 in the last meeting. But, the motor heads use tea party tactics, yell, boo, and hiss and do a great job of being obnoxiously vocal at these meetings. Please try to attend and you are welcome to forward this email on to those who care. Thx, --Chris Jones, Mat-Su Ski Club Member

    Gee, how hard is it for me to use the same ignorant stereotypes. Sounds like another elitist, left wing, blind following NEA member, liberal to me. See that is the easy way to go. The difficulty comes when one tries to open their mind to other opinions and choices of recreation. Not to even mention you chose to use a public school work email to send out clearly personal opinions. Enjoy your day.

    Cory ******

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    Member letshunt's Avatar
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    Here is my input:

    I spoke with Pete Houston (assembly member) on the phone today. I was not real happy with his response both on the phone or from the email that I recieved. I believe we need every person to get active, even if you don't use the Hatchers pass area. Please at least email an assemby member.

    As pura vida states; "Also it is important to keep in mind Hatcher Pass is state PUBLIC land, it is NOT a wilderness area. Public land is designed to be enjoyed by the public, all of the public, not just limited to specific users."

    Thank you

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    Default Thanks hunt!

    So what's Pete Houston's take that made you unhappy?

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    Member letshunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StockNStuck View Post
    So what's Pete Houston's take that made you unhappy?
    He told me that he has significant concerns on issues ranging from safety to responsible trail use & the cost of maintenance, and he said that he is not sure we are ready for a resolution at this time.

    When is a good time? This is public property and should be treated as public property. I not only snowmachine but ski as well, I just believe that making it completely off limits for any motorized vehicle access is wrong. I do understand there are issues that have to be worked out, but don't shut it off totally.

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    Wink

    Everyone post up your reps response, so they can be dealt with where it counts. Anyone who does not support motorized access needs to be X'd Out. Hopefully a list of those will generate more involvement.
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    Funny these guys seem to think that Hatchers Pass could support a massive ski resort when numerous private companies have looked into it and all have decided they could not turn a profit! I love Hatchers, grew up and learned to snowboard up there but this may come as a shocker they don't have consistent snow fall! They could build a decent nordic ski trail up there but it would never pay for itself and would be lightly used by a small minority. Regardless of the outcome on the motorized easment, we should all fight the ski resort plan by the borough because it will ultimately prove to be just another tax on the 98% of the valley that will NEVER use it.

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    Interesting topic. I, too, both ski and ride avidly. I've done both at Hatcher's. I'm very excited about the possibility of an alpine ski area there -- my family and I would use it a lot. Driving to Alyeska from the valley just ain't that much fun. (And having lived in Idaho, Alyeska really isn't what it's built up to be, to me). We would LOVE something closer with groomed runs for the kids, even if much smaller in scale that the resort in Girdwood -- but much bigger than Hilltop or Hillberg.

    That being said, I greatly dislike the idea of a complete ban on motorized use of the Hatcher Pass area. There are some awesome riding areas up there that make absolutely no sense to ban. If the borough could carve out a portion of some hill for an alpine area and make it viable (via snowmaking, whatever), then I'm all for it. But it clearly shouldn't be at the expense of motorized use of the rest of the surrounding territory. What's up with this "all or nothing" deal?

    Keep us posted. I might try to attend the meetings if I can.

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    Palmer, Alaska
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    There is no way Hatcher's can be an Alpine resort without massive snowmaking. The expenditures would be massive. I don't see it happening.

    Without enough snowmaking to make a deep base, there will be no chance for groomers.

    You don't make money from lift tickets. You must have something else to generate revenue. A lodge, bar, restaurants, shop space to lease...something.

    I wish it would work but I don't see it happening at this time.
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    folks, your concerns about the viability of an alpine area are spot on...and many people have been echoing these concerns for years.

    i don't think anyone is holding their breath until a resort is built here because it won't be.



    however there is absolutely no movement to shut all of hatcher pass down to motorized use, and most of us oppose any new restrictions to motorized use...i don't think they will happen because we won't let them.

    myself and many other local residents use our machines in hatcher pass on a weekly or daily basis and I can assure you that there is truly no effort to shut the area down to motorized uses, and obviously this would not work anyways because we will still use the area.


    Currently approx. 91% of the hatcher pass management area is open to snow machine access, and most is also open to ATV use in the summer.


    However, the issue at hand has nothing to do with any new restrictions. The area at hand has been a non-motorized area for 26 years now. It is a small 3 or 4 square mile area that borders on many of the local residents' properties, and most of us do not want either of the proposed corridors to be bulldozed through this area.

    You can ride up every other major valley on the south side of the Talkeetnas (moose, eska, granite, kings, etc.)

    If these corridors are created than it's highly likely that the trails off of schrock road and the trails on the moose range will recieve a completely unsustainable level of ATV use, and we will soon see DNR restricting use in these areas because of the damage.

    I have already seen the spiderwebbing of nearby trails in the last ten years, and DNR is aware of the situation. These corridors will exacerbate high levels of use and make things even worse


    This will increase the pace at which nearby motorized areas are restricted and/or closed.

    There is no doubt about it. This is a really bad move if we want to keep the motorized areas that we have.


    read the hatcher pass management plan on DNRs website.
    Read the language about preserving wildlife habitat.
    Remember that 91% of this area is already open to us.

    Some of my short-sighted neighbors are shooting themselves in the foot here, but the majority of us recognize that this is a very foolish idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trochilids View Post
    What's up with this "all or nothing" deal?

    this all or nothing deal is a bunch of hogwash thrown out by people who make no effort to think about issues, and take extreme positions that are unrealistic and short sighted.

    It is not all or nothing.

    But if people continue to act like they have a god-given right to have motorized access to every inch of our state lands than the all of us will probably end up with access to nothing because of these bozos who refuse to recognize that some SMALL areas are better of with no ATVS and snow machines.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    One need not turn the page back very far to realize that there most certainly is an all-or-nothing nordic ski movement. Simply take a gander at the Kenai Peninsula. Without warning, there have been large area closures of state & federal lands to snowmachine access all in the name of nordic skiers. The skiers now have far more usable public land access than the snowmachine users even though much of that land they have claimed doesn't get a lick of skier traffic on it or have any significant ski trails.

    The point that the skiers are missing is that of "multi-use" areas. If we can ride a snowmachine there, you can ski there. There is no reason for you to run to your ski buddies that work at the refuge or parks HQ and have them ban snowmachines from your newly discovered ski spot. Learn how to share.
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    If the Mat-Su borough wanted to make money on the area and spend less than on an Alpine ski resort, the answer is simple. A world class snowmobile area with groomed trails connecting different parts of the valley would make a bunch more money. Particularly if it connected Hatcher Pass with Willow to the west and Eureka to the east. I can't prove it, but I'm willing to bet that there is far more money in snowmobiling than there is skiing. Then they can build Nordic ski trails that parallel the whole thing using the same equipment. Nordic ski trails peacefully co-exist with snowmobile areas all over the western United States already.

    I'm getting this inkling that the whole matter is really not about wildlife, or nordic ski areas anyway. It appears to me that it's more about a small group of land owners that don't want to see the area developed in any way, while their neighbors feel differently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    If the Mat-Su borough wanted to make money on the area and spend less than on an Alpine ski resort, the answer is simple. A world class snowmobile area with groomed trails connecting different parts of the valley would make a bunch more money. Particularly if it connected Hatcher Pass with Willow to the west and Eureka to the east. I can't prove it, but I'm willing to bet that there is far more money in snowmobiling than there is skiing. Then they can build Nordic ski trails that parallel the whole thing using the same equipment. Nordic ski trails peacefully co-exist with snowmobile areas all over the western United States already.

    I'm getting this inkling that the whole matter is really not about wildlife, or nordic ski areas anyway. It appears to me that it's more about a small group of land owners that don't want to see the area developed in any way, while their neighbors feel differently.
    Yup,
    It could serve as the HUB of Southcentral. But....I think your inkling is driving the train. +1 rep, as that is all the system allows me.
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    Strangely enough I once traveled to the lower 48 to ride when snow was horrible up here. I rode in Island Park Idaho. Now, trail riding really isn't my thing, but I had a blast there. They have hundreds of miles of groomed trails that took you all the way to west Yellowstone and all over the state and forest service land there. There was also lots of backcountry riding to be had. All of this in an area much smaller than the Mat-Su Borough. On that weekend they had hotels FULL of riders. Every restraunt and bar was full every night. I was amazed to find out that riders came from all over the world and all over the U.S.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    all-or-nothing nordic ski movement....

    access all in the name of nordic skiers. The skiers now have far more usable public land access than the snowmachine users even though much of that land they have claimed doesn't get a lick of skier traffic on it or have any significant ski trails.

    "multi-use" areas.

    If we can ride a snowmachine there, you can ski there.
    it is not this simple. what you are portraying is an issue between two methods of access, snowmachines and skis. Again, it is not this simple.

    Skis, snowshoes, boots, bicycles, dogsleds. These are all methods of transportation that allow humans to travel with various advantages and disadvantages in the winter.

    You have to admit that snowmachines (and ATVs, cars/trucks) are substantially different than all of these in crowded areas. The impact is much more significant. They allow WAY more access. We do not need this everywhere. It is ruining our hunting.



    You are a hunter i assume. It is in your interest to preserve SOME areas to which access is difficult. Especially near the Anchorage and Mat-Su area. This area in particular is a very important wildlife corridor and EVERY surrounding area has lots of motorized access but this small corridor of about 3 square miles.

    Some. Small areas. Difficult to access. These are important. If you care about hunting you should acknowledge this. There are not many left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I'm getting this inkling that the whole matter is really not about wildlife, or nordic ski areas anyway. It appears to me that it's more about a small group of land owners that don't want to see the area developed in any way, while their neighbors feel differently.
    This will destroy the hunting in the bald mountain unit. Mark my words.

    Just like it has destroyed the hunting in the Willow Mountain unit that makes akres so upset.

    He, of course, thinks that this is about growing more moose, not acknowledging that the problem is that the access is too easy to too much of the habitat because there are so many atv trails now, and so many snow machine trails. Remember what the trapping used to be in this part of the range?

    You used to have to earn your way. Remember the 80s and before? Sorry, but you guys are loving this habitat to death now. Easy motorized access everywhere is your motto.
    Be careful what you wish for. Be realistic. We already have such easy access. Easier than ever in history. And you insist on making it easier.


    The ski trails are a postage stamp in this area. I do not like them but they are a postage stamp and they make our hunting and trapping and fishing better. The snowmachines and ATVs on these corridors that do not exist would be more like a giant with ice cleats stomping on this area.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    You need to come down and visit the Caribou Hills. It is wide open access for snowmachines in the winter and ATVs in the summer. It is also very heavily used by all manner of other folks to include dog mushers & skiers. And while all that recreational activity is going on, there are trappers out there in the winter and in the fall it is the singular most popular hunting destination on the peninsula. Note that during moose season, a large portion of the area is closed to motorized vehicle access for that one month. We have a club that fights for the rights of EVERYONE to have access to the land. The snowmachiners pay for the trail grooming and then openly welcome the dog mushers to come out here and train their teams. Your opinion of snowmachiners is completely wrong.

    What you are trying to say is that ANY motorized vehicle in Hatcher's pass at any time is going to "destroy" your hunting. I suppose you feel that the sound of a motor will cause all the animals to pack up their little hobo bags and hit the tracks to somewhere else? That couldn't be further from the truth. Moose ignore motorized vehicles. They really just do NOT care. They will walk right across a busy highway and get hit. That's how much moose will totally ignore motors. The other critters are the same way.

    Your anti-motor views are based entirely on unproven fallacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Your anti-motor views are based entirely on unproven fallacy.
    sorry but i do not think you have been paying attention to what i say. i am not anti-motor. i believe it is in our interests to acknowledge that we do not need them for transportation everywhere.

    if we do not acknowledge this as hunters then the quality of areas will continue to decrease over and over and over again. if you have not observed this you have not been paying attention. It doesn't happen everywhere. but there is no doubt that it is happening.


    Again 91&#37; of hatcher pass management area is open to snow machines and most of this to atvs as well. Almost the entire area is already multi-use.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    This will destroy the hunting in the bald mountain unit. Mark my words.

    Just like it has destroyed the hunting in the Willow Mountain unit that makes akres so upset.

    He, of course, thinks that this is about growing more moose, not acknowledging that the problem is that the access is too easy to too much of the habitat because there are so many atv trails now,
    Give it a break and tell it like it really is. The habitat can support thousands more moose than what we have today. The only limiting factors are the killing of the Cows and lack of Predator Control. Has absolutely NOTHING to do with access, in any way, shape, form or fashion. If you spent as much time afield in this area as you proclaim, you know this to be true.

    There is absolutely no reason on earth for motorized vehicles to be banned from any segment of public lands. Not one ioda.
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