Mat Valley Moose Range/Wasilla Cr. Salmon Habitat Conditions

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  • #16
    Just a quick reminder to all here that Troopers (and anyone) need witness offenses to prosecute.
    The current state of the trail and crossings in the Mat Valley Moose Range is so very bad that F&G and Troopers, by their own admission and experiences, cannot traverse the area to do their jobs.
    9 severely degraded crossing in approx. 150 ft. with 75% of the 'protected by law' salmon stream diverted! And that is just one small pc. of the damages in this one case.
    Let's face the reality.

    Tory Orleck, now retired head of AWT for Mat Su, said years ago, " It is impractical to enforce anadromous stream crossing laws."
    (I can find you the exact date, as I asked him his permission to quote, which he happily gave.)

    Isn't about time we figured out solutions to this corundum?

    Tell me Your ideas for affordable solutions.

    I have been willing to talk compromises, have referenced a case where some compromises have been put in place, etc. while some consistently dig in their heels, harbor conspiracy theories, seem content with the absolutely shamefully degraded condition of Wasilla Cr. in order to protect their 'rights', and offer no reasoned solutions. "I wheel when I want and where I want." A bad attitude - I don't think we need to identify the source, and therefore won't unless someone doubts the veracity.

    I posted this Wasilla Cr. case here because it is just plain nonsense to allow this to continue even another day while divisive, extremist views butt heads, render every personal attack they can conceive, and avoid facing the actual problem. I've seen enough degraded habitat and have had enough.

    Times, population and machines change - salmon habitat is for the future.

    Ah, respect:
    Attached Files
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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    • #17
      Ideas for workable solutions:

      1) During the summer institute areas of complete closure to vehicles that are too wide to use the established bridges. Citations to be given at the trail-head. It wouldn't come with the Class-A misdemeanor for anadromous stream destruction, but it would simplify matters. It seems obvious on the face of the matter, given the destruction we see, that it's ridiculous to allow vehicles to use the range that can't use the bridges.

      2) Require all users to sign in/out at the trail head with their name and vehicle type. I don't want to charge the users a fee, but make it a cite-able offense to drive a vehicle in the range without signing in/out.

      3) Install trail cameras at crossings and install a billboard with a wall of shame showing everybody that is photographed illegally crossing streams. I guess I know that the billboard would be shot, burned and buried... but a man can dream.)

      4) Fill popular stream crossings with caltrops that puncture tires. (I know we can't do that, but again a man can dream)

      Comment


      • #18
        On June 13, I proposed a 'short-term' solution to Clark Cox, Regional Manager, DNR MLW to stop the damages now while this is being sorted out - reasonable in light of the extensive damages and growing costs. Also, I believe, within DNR's power to do so per the Rex Trail decision and the responsible thing to do.

        Must point out here that 'seasonal, moratorium, and indefinite' need not be twisted into 'permanent'. None of them have the same definition and to contend so is not only technically wrong, but assumptive, counterproductive, distracting from a situation arguably requiring solutions now, and perhaps indicative of unwillingness to formulate working compromises that ensure healthy salmon habitat. I wish not to indulge in conversation redefining words to suit personal beliefs.

        Stop this obvious destruction now, then give everyone their chance to weigh in on long-term proposals. Fair enough?
        Or is your vote for the status quo ?
        "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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        • #19
          Do us both a favor and don't start throwing out derogatory things about folks that disagree with you. I am not being counterproductive, distracting, or unwilling to compromise.
          We ALL have personal belief's and assumptions.
          You believe several areas need to be closed immediately 24/7 to ALL motorized access assuming that there in no immediate alternative.
          I believe that immediate 24/7 closure of areas to ALL motorized access is not necessary. My assumption is once they are closed it will be VERY difficult to reopen end up being permanent closures.

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          • #20
            Derby:

            I'm curious? What do you think that could be done that has a realistic shot of stopping enough of the destruction so that more draconian measures aren't needed?

            Comment


            • #21
              Some thoughts.
              I think your #1 and #2 may be acceptable.
              I am sure some trailcams have been shot, stolen, etc, but it doesn't mean it is still not an option.
              Employ the handful of DNR employee's that have the authority to write citations and maybe even expand that program.
              Maybe limit times acces is allowed kind of like they do in Eklutna.

              Enforcement of existing rules is the key. Like Jomama clarified, some may need to be clarified for enforceability purposes.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Derby06 View Post
                Do us both a favor and don't start throwing out derogatory things about folks that disagree with you. I am not being counterproductive, distracting, or unwilling to compromise.
                We ALL have personal belief's and assumptions.
                You believe several areas need to be closed immediately 24/7 to ALL motorized access assuming that there in no immediate alternative.
                I believe that immediate 24/7 closure of areas to ALL motorized access is not necessary. My assumption is once they are closed it will be VERY difficult to reopen end up being permanent closures.
                Derby, how important are our salmon resources to you? What other solutions do you offer, to prevent further degredation of salmon and dolly varden habitat? Both a short term solution, to deal with the acute problem, and a long term solution, to deal with ongoing problems?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Derby06 View Post
                  Some thoughts.
                  I think your #1 and #2 may be acceptable.
                  I don't even know how realistic #2 is, but it sure sounds like banning side by sides from the Moose Range needs to be done immediately, and it would really be nice to see the motorized user-group stand up and agree that given the ongoing destruction it doesn't make any sense to allow vehicles that are too wide for the infrastructure.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I think one thing that needs to be done immediately is place a weight restriction, but rather than a GVW restriction, do it on a displacement basis; pounds exerted per sq. in or foot, rather than total weight. Also, any motor vehicles used must be able to cross existing bridges. Habitat destruction happens very quickly, and takes much longer to repair, with effects that last for generations.

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                    • #25
                      Mat Valley Moose Range/Wasilla Cr. Salmon Habitat Conditions

                      Leave it open to Yamaha's only. That way everyone will use the bridges or they will get stuck!

                      Seriously though, I'm a big fan of motorized access but there is no reason to let things get tore up this way. I think some size/weight/hp/width restrictions should become commonplace in some highly used/sensitive areas. Some of these new ATV's are larger with more power than a mid sized 4x4 vehicle. Also some limitations on tire type. I love my ITP's, but they tear stuff up.

                      I do agree with the point that once access is closed it would be tough to get it re-opened. I'd think that fact would encourage the ATV community to help get things under control.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by willphish4food View Post
                        Derby, how important are our salmon resources to you? What other solutions do you offer, to prevent further degredation of salmon and dolly varden habitat? Both a short term solution, to deal with the acute problem, and a long term solution, to deal with ongoing problems?
                        Yes the salmon resource is important. I think I was tying my ideas as you typed the question. I like your post #24 idea....
                        You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to willphish4food again.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by willphish4food View Post
                          I think one thing that needs to be done immediately is place a weight restriction, but rather than a GVW restriction, do it on a displacement basis; pounds exerted per sq. in or foot, rather than total weight. Also, any motor vehicles used must be able to cross existing bridges. Habitat destruction happens very quickly, and takes much longer to repair, with effects that last for generations.

                          This always get brought up, but since this isn't a spec provided by a mfg, and the second you change tire sizes the ground pressure changes, its no more enforceable than whats currently on the books..

                          How does a trooper in the field determine ground pressure? (Hint: its not happening)..

                          #1? Under what authority? Who enforces this? Everything is being cut and agencies are short staffed?

                          #2 Under what authority? Who enforces this?

                          #3 Trail cameras and signs get the same treatment, they dont last long before getting trashed in high traffic areas, and w/out some type of registration #'s, dont reliably provide enough information, and would likely get challenged in court.

                          The agencies dont have the arbitrary powers to close land use like is being suggested here.. Agencies dont just get to make up new laws on a whim... It would take a public process to change the management plan thats already in place... (and then its just a plan, unless adopted into regulation) I can guarantee that the no-compromise-pro-access folks will dominate the public process and stop any meaningful change (i.e. Knik River)..

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                          • #28
                            Well -

                            If I just drink whiskey tonight and wake up with a hangover - I'm blaming you, Jomama.

                            depressing stuff... but I think you are right.

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                            • #29
                              The majority of big trucks that are tearing things up out there are unlicensed and not street legal and are being driven to the trailhead over paved maintained roads. The Troopers could be enforcing existing laws but it's not happening. This has been going on for years. I live near a Mooserange trailhead and used to contact the troopers regarding illegal activities but have given up. As a 50 plus year Alaska resident I used to hold the troopers in high regard, but any more, not so much.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by HikerDan View Post
                                Well -

                                If I just drink whiskey tonight and wake up with a hangover - I'm blaming you, Jomama.

                                depressing stuff... but I think you are right.
                                Unfortunately, 'Jomama's" post does tell like it pretty much as it is.
                                It should not be this difficult when the problem is so obviously over the top.

                                Does anyone here know how tedious and how long it actually took to obtain an agency decision on the Rex Trail ? An 'Executive Summary' was released on that decision after much public input, but I am not certain how quickly it was implemented. I do not know if it required legislative action, as I was otherwise distracted at the time. (I'll ask further, if needed.)

                                As far as the "no-compromise-pro-access' folks dominating; bluntly - it is past time to neuter the antiquated 'my rights to tear up habitat by any means' approach. Call it what it is. The 'my rights' single message is a convenient sell and serves the purpose of maintaining an organizational support base bolstered by a percentage of irresponsible users doing what they wish (easy target). With no conscientious message as to acceptable means of access or subsequent habitat costs, we end up with some irresponsible users and messes like Wasilla Cr. - areas dominated by abuses and lawlessness - 'just what the doctor ordered'.

                                F&G and Troopers must be enabled/supported by responsible/responsive land management, not hobbled. If this takes legislative action, so be it. One would think that requests to halt gross damages to public resources, however, could find quick avenues even under the present system.
                                The Moose Range is a poster child for failed management and it will be a shame if no fast answer to alleviate surfaces. As I said, it simply should not be this hard.
                                "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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