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Thread: Feds Are Continuing to March

  1. #1

    Angry Feds Are Continuing to March

    The Feds are continuing to beat the drum...what say, you potential juror's living in Fairbanks??? What are your thoughts?
    Excerpt from an article, courtesy of the Fairbanks Daily NewsMiner

    FAIRBANKS — A federal magistrate has rejected a request to dismiss the charges against a 70-year-old Central man who was arrested by National Park Service rangers on the Yukon River in September.

    Fairbanks attorney Bill Satterberg said federal magistrate Scott Oravec contacted attorneys on both sides Saturday to tell them he rejected a motion to dismiss the charges against Jim Wilde. The judge re-scheduled the trial for April 5.

    Wilde’s trial had been scheduled to begin today in federal court.

    The official decision regarding Satterberg’s motion to dismiss the case is expected today. Satterberg broke the news at a fundraiser for Wilde on Saturday at Los Amigos Tex/Mex Steakhouse, and it was confirmed Monday by the federal online court records database.

    Wilde was arrested Sept. 16 after refusing to allow rangers to board his boat in the Yukon River during what the Park Service said was a routine safety check. An altercation ensued and rangers handcuffed Wilde on the riverbank before transporting him to Fairbanks. He spent three days at Fairbanks Correctional Center before pleading not guilty.

    Satterberg has called the arrest the result of “badge-heavy park rangers” who pointed a shotgun at Wilde and “roughed him up.”

    Wilde has attracted the support of the state government.

    The state contends the Park Service does not have legal authority to stop people traveling on navigable state waterways in Alaska, based on the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980.

    The Park Service, meanwhile, claims it has jurisdiction on state waterways that run through federal lands, based on amendments made to federal regulations in 1996.

    Following Wilde’s arrest, the state filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Wilde’s behalf, asking the court to rule that the Park Service does not have jurisdiction on state waterways.

    The fundraiser for Wilde on Saturday at Los Amigos raised more than $6,000 for his legal fees, according to organizer Craig Compeau.
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    Thats one jury I would like to sit on.
    Chuck

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    there is no Jury on this case Res. couple of things here, there apparently has been no official regulation passed to the park service by the coast guard, for enforcement on water ways, this regulation is one the park service has written itself as with many others and choose to enforce. it is actually hoped this case is lost and then can go before the supreme court for judfication. where as if it is won it will end there with out any official ruling on the enforcement authority of the park service. personally i donated 300.00 to Mr Wilde's defense fund to see it go the full deal.
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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    If the feds can use that reasoning, the state could as well. In other words, if a river has a state rec area on it, then the state park rangers would have authority to patrol the entire river.

    The greed of the feds as regards management in this state knows no bounds. Just look at the proposed game regs coming from the NPS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    there is no Jury on this case Res. couple of things here, there apparently has been no official regulation passed to the park service by the coast guard, for enforcement on water ways, this regulation is one the park service has written itself as with many others and choose to enforce. it is actually hoped this case is lost and then can go before the supreme court for judfication. where as if it is won it will end there with out any official ruling on the enforcement authority of the park service. personally i donated 300.00 to Mr Wilde's defense fund to see it go the full deal.
    Hmmm...I did not know it would not have a jury deciding it! If that is the case, I would assume the Fed Magistrate will rule accordingly and the lawyers will get to take it on to SCOTUS. Could take years, meanwhile perhaps Wilde will get taken better care of in the hooscow, than if he were to spend the remainder of his days in a Pioneer Home! I sent an Email to the Defense Fund Organizer...when I get the needed info, I too will help out. Good on you, for the added information, thanks.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Government always feels its their job to grow so they can be to big to fail and we can bail them out.
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Sure seems like a whole lot of time and money wasted. I bet the old coot would have been on his merry way if he wouldn't have shown such an attitude. I'm by no means excusing the USFS or the judge. All I know is I can think several more nobel ways to donate money. I deal w/ the forest service all the time, when they start questioning what I'm doing I turn it on them. Like one time this forest service guy w/ an east coast accent wanted to tell me I couldn't store my net on the beach, I changed the subject and asked if open toed birkinstock sandals were acceptable as proper footwear on a government workboat? He then wanted to tie up to me, I accepted but didn't kick it out of gear so I was idling forward, he comes up along side of me and his deck hand ties up his stern line and he took his out of gear, you guessed it, they whipped around and crack their kicker cowling, he's screaming put it in neutral! Meanwhile I had his deckhand cuts the line, and I told him he's got some explaining to do when he gets to town, he put it to the wood and headed to town yelling at the deckhand as they left
    Last edited by Brian M; 01-20-2011 at 17:43. Reason: language

  8. #8
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    If the feds can use that reasoning, the state could as well. In other words, if a river has a state rec area on it, then the state park rangers would have authority to patrol the entire river.

    The greed of the feds as regards management in this state knows no bounds. Just look at the proposed game regs coming from the NPS.
    the difference is that Navigable water ways are state highways, and Denali Nat park is the only place i am aware of, ( not knowing the KP park situations) that the state as excepted/allowed... ( for lack of the correct terms) dual enforcement on state highways. meaning the parks highway where it travelers though Denali Nat, park.

    this is also some how coming to be tied in with the BLM wilderness study, not so much the enforcement, or NPS boarding boats for vessel safety checks... but enforcement of access onto public lands... the new wilderness survey that is to be ongoing, will also prevent public access to many areas of the state. as the NPS/BLM/FAA etc have a different definition of public lands,

    in that if a PERSON uses public lands that is personal use. and requires a permit. One that can be charged for or even denied..

    Pubic lands are being held in Public Trust... and may not necessarily be used for Personal use.

    The Wilde Case has much further reaching ramifications then, some old guy trying to get to shore for safety reasons... and that is what began the argument in the first place... the NPS wanted him to stop fully laden in a moving current. and he headed for shore.

    in fact the NPS officers were so UN familiar with the river, that Mr Wilde had to help them get to Circle as they got lost in the wrong channels...

    as for the boat safety issues. Failure to display a state of Alaska boat certification is a state law the feds have no business enforcing anywhere. and for requesting a boat safety inspection, due to it appearing over-ladden..... the NPS them selfs just ordered some boats from one of Compeau's competitors that was grossly over rated for weight bearing ratings.... in short they ordered Sport Jons with the expectation of carrying over 4500 lbs in them... Compeau's own tests show that though the boat will carry it on step, that inexperienced drivers would sink a sport jon at those loads. (quickly coming off step with 4500 lbs puts the bow under)
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    the entire "pull over on the yellow line thing here" is part of what is at play... if a trooper signals you to stop you are supposed to... however Safety dictates that you do so on the shoulder of the road Where safe to do so...

    so...

    Does the NPS have the Authority to pull a person over in the first place?
    Can the NPS Force you to pull over in an unsafe manner?
    Does the NPS have the authority to enforce state law?
    In doing so, Does the NPS have responsibility for stranding 2 other adults on a river bank who were unable to run Wilde's boat?
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    Vince, was it explained why there would be No Jury Trial? Was this a legal ploy/decision, by the Defense to Lose the Case?
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Vince, was it explained why there would be No Jury Trial? Was this a legal ploy/decision, by the Defense to Lose the Case?
    just one of those type that go before the judge... not a jury..If it were a jury trial there wouldn't be much to do about it at all...

    Mr Wilde wants to win his case, and also understands the significance of loosing and having the appeal process. to my knowledge there is no PLAN/PLOY to loose.
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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I am fine with safety rules for boats, but I witnessed some enforcement of the rules last summer that I didnt agree with. I was fishing on the Kenai River in my friends boat, at the end of the day we pulled up to the dock and were approached by a coast guard officer, he asked to inspect the boat, no problem. Well the fist thing he asked to see was the registration, which my buddy did not have in the boat with him, which he is 100% to blame for that, and he got a ticket for it. What I did not agree with was that the officer did not even inspect the boat for the required safety gear, it seems that these check ups are driven financially and not in the interest of safety. As soon as the officer busted him on something he could give him a ticket for, he lost interest, not cool IMO.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    As far as I know only the Coast Guard has the right to board a vessel without the captains consent if it is in US held waters. You may allow a P&W service to board at your descretion.BUT; make them wear a floatation device once they come aboard you are responsable to have a floatation device for them, and if their presence causes your boat to exceed its operating capacities you can be cited as well.
    Mr. Wilde has NO chance of winning this case, UNLESS it goes to a Superior Court. The Government will refuse to give up its stranglehold once it gets one.
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Imagine this thread will get moved, but before it does I wanted to say that I've been investigating and looking into just what new policies are in place in Yukon-Charley over the last several months, after first hearing about Jim Wilde's arrest.

    And what I've uncovered and where it's led has been a strange road. I was going to try to get an article published on all this before the Jan 18th scheduled trial, and the last little bit of info I needed was an "incident report" on another incident that took place in Yukon Charley last fall, involving the same two rangers. They had another man in cuffs for over two hours, a longtime year-round private property inholder who had gone to great lengths in the past to inform NPS that he did not want to be bothered or harassed while going about his subsistence activities and travels within the Preserve.

    The basics are that he and his 12-year-old daughter were on shore last fall, his jonboat was tied off, adjacent to his private property. His property doesn't abut to the main river so his fish camp and place where he parks his boat is not on private property. He was apparently working on the outboard when the two rangers pulled over for a "boat registration check." Like many of us along the river, he too has never registered his boat, and so the rangers were going to issue him a warning or citation. He did what he typically does when dealing with NPS, he started to walk off with his daughter. Rangers told him he must obey a lawful order to stop, that they had a lawful reason to question him. He complied, and was in no way violent, and he was unarmed.

    But again, he did what he always does with park service, he would not speak with them, he would not even give them his name. They told him he must give them his name. He did not comply, at which point they handcuffed him in front of his daughter and sat him down on the shore. At some point he told his daughter to go home. Their cabin is nearly a mile walk from there, part of it through dense woods. I've always carried bear protection when going there. Daughter was unarmed. The rangers let her go.

    What happened next was some two hours of radio comms back to Fairbanks for advice on what to do. It was finally decided that since it was not clear if there was another adult present with a minor child, they could not take this guy to jail. All along, rangers claimed they did not know who this man was, and that he could be a wanted criminal for all they knew, but that it was a "high probability" it was the guy who owned the private property they were right next to, the guy who even had gone so far as to have an attorney draft a letter to the Park Service in the past saying he did not want to be bothered by NPS. So they let him go.

    The last little bit I needed for the lengthy article I was working on was the incident report from this incident. I submitted a FOIA (freedom of information act) request for it, as I was told by the chief ranger of Yukon-Charley that this case was closed, he had the incident report available to send to me, that it had to be done via a FOIA request.

    The day after I submitted the FOIA request I was told that the US Attorney got involved and would block the request. I waited the 20 days for the final word and sure enough my FOIA request for this closed case incident report was denied.

    And here's the kicker. It was denied using the justification that releasing this incident report could affect the "fairness" of a "scheduled trial." The Jim Wilde trial I assume, though the NPS FOIA person could not confirm that when I followed up on the denial and exactly what it meant.

    I am hoping someone will publish this article I've been working on. There are other facets too I uncovered that are very interesting and disturbing.

    If that guy's daughter hadn't been present, they would have carted him off to jail just like they did Jim Wilde. Why? In his case it was ostensibly over a $24 state-of-alaska boat registration "check," and the subsequent refusal of this man to cooperate with rangers by confirming his identity. It should be noted too that few of us river people carry I.D. when we are going about our subsistence activities. I imagine he did not have I.D. on him at the time.

    Amidst all this, when I first started looking into this incident above and other stops of other boats (NPS could not release any details of the Wilde incident) I met with the Yukon-Charley superintendent and chief ranger in Fbks in October. I was told by the chief ranger at that time, that his rangers had no idea where they were as far as proximity to any private property inholdings with the above incident, and that it was only after rangers radioed in their gps coordinates that staff in Fbks realized the man they had detained was in all likelihood the same guy who owned the nearby private property, the same guy who had pleaded for years for NPS to not bother him.

    A week later I talked to one of the rangers involved, and he told me a totally different version of events, that every NPS boat has a map that shows all the inholdings and who owns them, and they knew when they pulled over exactly where they were and that all along it was a "high probability" who this man and his daughter were. Though neither ranger had ever met him and they did not have a picture of him.

    I am still pretty ticked over all this, as you may be able to tell...I'm typing this really fast as it comes out.

    For the record, my wife and I count Jim Wilde as a close friend, we have known he and his wife for nearly 30 years. Jim has visited us here in his boat during high water, helped me when I've broken down on the river in the past, and we have spent many a night during the Yukon Quest together at Biederman's cabin, along with the crew from Central.

    This is a PR nightmare for the Park Service, and in the last several months I've had contacts with Dept of Interior and Murkowski and Young's offices. In fact, Don Young's office is trying to help me get the incident report released that I mentioned above.

    There are some problems in the pushback by the state though imo. I think we need fed law enforcement in some areas of the state, and state and feds work together all the time on fish and wildlife enforcement. I don't think NPS rangers should be precluded from carrying out fish and wildlife enforcement duties on state navigable waters. Just that they should not be stopping boats in motion for coast guard safety and boat registration checks. Neither should they be stopping at camps to cite people for any boat registration violations.

    In closing, what I've been thinking on the past week after my FOIA request was denied, was just how that incident report for the other incident would really "affect the fairness" of Jim's trial?

    And all I can conclude is that the only "fairness" involved here relates to being fair to Jim and his attorney by releasing other information about the practices of Yukon Charley rangers, and any other incidents that have occurred. That by not releasing the details of this other closed-case incident it is unfair to Jim and his attorney.

    Thanks to everyone who supported Jim's attorney fees with donations, and to Craig Compeau for putting that on recently. This thing is far from over. I wish I could be in town for the trial, but ain't gonna happen. If someone publishes whatever final piece on this I come up with will let you all know.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    see mark you and I do still agree on stuffs... except that I DO NOT FEEL the feds should have ANY/NONE whatsoever, involvement in Fish and Game enforcement, fish and game belongs to the state of AK regardless of whose lands it walks across, i also believe the management of that game should remain solely with the state. and that the fed involvement in it should be limited to working with the state on open seasons upon federal lands.
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    Mark ; Tell Mr. Wilde I wish him all the success in the world. I'm on his side, I just don't believe he has a chance at a fair trial though, and hope he follows through to a superior court.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Vince et al,

    Over the last ten years especially we've had a big influx in float hunters here, they land on the upper river near the border, take a moose but then have a hard time floating out before the meat goes bad. Some don't harvest all the meat.

    I was of the notion at first to let these incidents slide, but seeing moose wasted really sits wrong with me. So I started turning in any clear wanton waste cases. I worked with Alaska Wildlife Troopers and National Park Service. NPS helped within the Preserve in stopping and citing the hunter(s) I had told them about, and Wildlife Troopers followed up on it from there.

    If we don't allow fed enforcement like that...nothing will happen because the state does not have the manpower to follow up on it out on the river(s) near here. That may seem an okay tradeoff to some, but not to me. Again, feds and state work all the time jointly on enforcement issues, simply because we don't have state personnel to cover all the country. I don't see a problem with that.

    But I know that many disagree. So it goes.



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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    And people get all indignant when I refer to them as the Nazi Park Circus. They earned the title.

    I'm sorry, but I can't see the judge doing anything than rubber-stamping his approval in this case.
    Now what ?

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    You're probably right on the outcome, Steve, but you never know. All along, NPS officials told me they could not release any details of the Wilde incident but that when the case was heard in court they felt they would be vindicated in their actions.

    Later, in one of my not-normal-for-me angry moments in talking with the Yukon-Charley superintendent (I'm usually pretty calm and rational <grin>), railing at the ridiculous PR disaster that this was and how he should have known darn well this new policy to stop boats for "safety" checks would result in something like this, he asked me how I felt the public would react if NPS won the case.

    I told him honestly I felt he/NPS were screwed either way. If they win the case I feel the Alaska public will believe Wilde was wronged and NPS is harassing citizens. If they lose the case, the public will feel Wilde was wronged and NPS is harassing citizens.

    Now that the trial has again been postponed until April, and knowing that Don Young has some legislation in mind re NPS authority on state waters/lands, and the state is still on Wilde's side with their friend of the court brief, and Murkowski is also involved...and having gotten word from Dept of Interior expressing what I interpreted as amazement that this (and the other incident I mentioned) is going on in Yukon-Charley, I would imagine behind the scenes there will be pressure. But where that will lead is anyone's guess.

    As far as NPS on the whole, like any other agency it is neither all bad nor all good. Plenty of good people work for NPS, and I call some of them friends. Have run into some bad apples too. Would like to see DC and Alaska NPS leadership develop better statewide policies to ensure stuff like this isn't going on.

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    interesting case and reading. i have to wonder about the boat registration thing. this seems to be a sore spot with rural interior residents from what i've read. my question is, why should there not be registration of boats in the interior the same as the rest of the state? if you are checked on the susitna river, or valdez or seward, why should that be different than the yukon or tributaries? i understand if the boat is in mid-river not a good idea to try and board it, but when pulled up on the bank why should there not be safety checks and enforcement at that time?

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