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Haul Road access poll

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  • Haul Road access poll

    Should we have motorized access in the Haul Road (Dalton) corridor? Take a second voice your thoughts via this poll and drop a comment if it makes you fell better about it.
    We've debated this topic (perhaps ad nauseum) but a quick vote will let everybody know how we are currently thinking about this issue.
    I've thought on it in the past and even posted about the option to research the impact of a closed loop atv trail utilizing a creek bed or something to minimize impact. Now I'm gonna say no way. I just don't think folks will use the area prudently and it will suffer--as will game #'s. Sorry for the rant...back to the poll....

    No way, the area is unique and should be preserved as such.
    Absolutely. The area is huge and needs more access.
    The area should be open to a limited number of hunters--maybe a draw system?
    Parts of the area should be open to atv use.
    Let's research the impact more thoroughly before we do anything.
    Get a horse. I loath atv's!

    The poll is expired.

    Proud to be an American!

  • #2
    I vote for no access. It would be abused. I would even say all hunters with any weapon should be at least two miles off the road. It is tough to hike and pack that far but it would put an end to those few road hunters
    who ruin it for the rest of us.


    • #3
      I'd be OK with it south of the Brooks Range, but since that wasn't an option I voted for "no way". What a great way to decrease opportunity and damage the habitat of the animals we enjoy persuing.



      • #4
        I think it should remain closed to motorized vehicle access. I also think that the regulations should be simplified and modified so there isn't any room for ambiguity.


        • #5
          Nice=Hard to get to!

          Hope they keep it with the restrictions that are already in place.The chase is what is special for me when I hunt. Bill
          ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30


          • #6
            I know the horse answer was meant to be funny, but in seriousness, is it possible to get 5 miles off the road with a horse? I haven't hunted up there before but I was looking into trying to find out if the terrain allows for horse access, or if it is too tough going for a pack horse. So I might have to walk, but that is fine...I do loath ATVs!


            • #7

              There has been a lot of discussion about how this could possibly work if we opened it only south of Atigun Pass on a "few" designated trails. Time and time again, though, it became evident that the costs (monetarily, and to wildlife and habitat) of even "regulated access" far outweighed the benefits to hunters. Many correctly assume that the area would quickly become a draw hunt, whereas now it's open to everyone. Basically, if we were to open it up, it'd be a "draw controlled-use" hunt.

              In my talks with various other orgs about this, the ones who support it stand firm on one particular position that they won't compromise on. And that's the real kicker. They want to be allowed to drive their atv/orv to the kill site to salvage the meat. It seems absurd that we would want to regulate atv access and keep atvs to designated trails, yet allow them to friggin' be able to drive across the tundra to get the meat.

              I know it's absurd to put the cart before the horse and legalize access before we even draw up multi-agency plans and define exactly what trails (or new trails) would be opened and just what the regs would be. What a quagmire, and had SB85 passed we'd be in that quagmire right now.

              (PS, I don't think atvs are to loathed. There is atv use, and atv "abuse." Part of atv abuse is the concentration of hunters that affects both habitat and wildlife. It isn't just about habitat or scarring; it's also about large influxes of hunters to specific areas of what have formerly been refugia for wildlife.)
              Last edited by bushrat; 11-15-2006, 17:12. Reason: added Postscript
              Mark Richards


              • #8
                2 miles

                Would be nice if it was less than 5 miles, maybe 2…wonder how that (5 miles) was determined.

                Two people drinking beer and they looked at each other and said no way I'd want to carry something 5 miles, hey good idea.

                Seriously does anyone know where 5 miles came from.



                • #9
                  I dont have a problem with the ATV use on the south side of the pass. The reason I say this is because I have driven that stretch of road many times and it seems to get little to no use, at least from what I have seen. The only life I see between the Yukon and Coldfoot is hunters either being flown out of the few strips and grayling Lake or Tourist and then the draw hunters for moose in Sept. Thats it everybody else blasts through that 100 mile stretch going somewhere but not in there. I have had some friends that bear baited in that stretch but only the motivated pursue that for long especially with gas prices what they are. The terrain in the stretch I speak of is no different than the Steese, the Elliot, or even the Rich and the Parks for that matter. Lots of rolling hills, timber ,and lots of creeks , and only a few outdoortsman that activley use that land for recreation, maybe a float hunter or two. Definately a big NO on the North side of the pass the place would be destroyed. This is just my opinion and I love to go up to the Brooks and have had some great times up there with bow in hand. its always been a special place for me, and I got my ultimate trophy of all the critters I have ever killed up there , this guy with a bow at 20 yards! So needless to say the Brooks holds a special place in my heart.


                  And after a nice bath from the taxidermist



                  • #10
                    Mark (BR) , there aint enough money in the world to fund enforcement to keep the guys on the same beaten path ( a regulated trail). Hunters just arent like that, we want to get away from each other and I cant perceive a method for regulating a designated trail. As the trail got worse a new one would be started and so on. Eventually it would be like many other trail systems around the state, a good example is the REX. Theres hundreds of commonly used trails now that arent enforced across the interior. It could never happen in an organized manner in my opinion. Another thought is that it seems as though we are in an ever losing battle on available lands to hunt. I have lost some great hunting spots due to the state giving it back to the natives but you never see anyone giving us any more land to use. Thats another reason why i think that there should be access along the 100 miles stretch I spoke of.


                    • #11
                      open the haul road

                      I say open it up. It is a unique part of Alaska that should be able to be explored using a atv. However there needs to be pull outs at certain locations so people can access areas safely. To pay for this either make it a toll road or appropriate funds in another manner. If the game does not support the pressure which is (doubtful) then turn it into a permit area. My vote is lets open it up so the atv pressure is spread out over a wider area! Chef


                      • #12


                        I hear your concerns. But you gotta realize that's a pretty mixed message you're sending, saying on one hand that it'd just turn out like other atv-access areas where regs aren't enforced and plenty of abuse takes place, and on the other saying we should open it from the bridge to Coldfoot. (BTW, you first said you had no problem with access "south of the pass," which I took to mean Atigun.)

                        I think what you're implying is that the 100-mile stretch in there wouldn't see much use, but I'm not sure. If that were true though, then why open it?

                        The argument of "spreading out" the pressure from other areas is one I continually hear. On the surface, it makes sense. But at some point, saturation (of hunters and access) is reached. And then, I suppose (in 2050), our grandkids say to spread out the pressure to Russia <grin>. But by then the poor hunters who were only hoping to reconnect with solitude and quiet and some tangible connection to a place left on earth that was really "wilderness"...well that will be all gone. It's a tough one, for sure. We all want the same things, basically, but we want them in differing amounts. It ends up by us all defining what part of hunting is most important to us. Some want "easy" access, lots of animals, high success rates. Others want wilderness, quiet, solitude, and that fulfills what they "need," more than harvesting an animal. Somewhere in there is compromise. Part of that compromise is saying no to atv/orv access in some places. Part of that compromise is saying yes to atv/orv access in some places. We aren't the only user-group, however, and I think that's a point we too-often forget.

                        Best, Mark
                        Mark Richards


                        • #13
                          Mark sorry I wasn't more specific, I hadn't really put that much thought as to what boundaries I thought were best. I am speaking mostly from the bridge to Coldfoot. Those last comments of mine are also a concern. I know the state has these land lease agreements with the Native Org and you see them constantly getting land back but whos fighting for us to get more land available to us? The reality is that theres just not enough resources for all of us to have what we want. Thats a reality that cant be changed. it just seems silly to me to have a 100 mile stretch of land that doesn't get used that could easily be utilized out 25 miles on either side of that road(in some places) which would provide a massive area for guys to enjoy. As I see it now its being totally unutilized. How many guys actually stop to do any kind of hunting between the Yukon bridge and Coldfoot. There might be a few bowhunters that put the incidental stalk on a black bear or griz ( I have done that) but theres not any hunting camps to be seen anywhere along that route except during the moose draw north and south of Slate. I could only imagine that you get 5 miles off that highway in many places and there would be some great moose and bear hunting. I dont know it justs seems like a waste to me. I mean can you imagine driving from Fairbanks down the steese for 100 miles and not being allowed to hunt on either side of that highway the entire way down. Or from the junction of the Elliot to Manley. Fairbanks to Delta, its a lot of land Mark. I would be very interested to hear of how many hunters actually hike outside the 5 miles in that stretch of road ( the bridge to Coldfoot) to hunt, I bet the number is zero! And yes it only makes sense that it might loosen up the conjestion in other places although I am thinking mostly of the population of the North Star Borough. The huge #'s of hunters from the Los Anchorage area that are coming North each year, my solution would be null and void. Those guys's situation is so bad down there most of them would drive 1000 miles just to get to what I call over conjestion and they call not bad at all. Who knows what time will provide us with as the years pass?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AlaskaCub View Post
                            I would be very interested to hear of how many hunters actually hike outside the 5 miles in that stretch of road ( the bridge to Coldfoot) to hunt, I bet the number is zero!
                            Interesting point, Roland.
                            Heckuva chunk of ground there that gets no human intervention I'd bet--could be a consideration even if ATV's were rejected, and just gun regs were revised...pipeline sensitive areas could be posted?
                            Proud to be an American!


                            • #15
                              ATV use

                              Alaskacub, I agree. South of the pass should be open to use.


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