Thanks for the Santa Picture.
Please let everyone you know who loves backcountry flying to take a minute to send in a comment to the John Day River Resource Management Plan office and let them know that they would like to see access to Chukar flats airstrip protected in the management plan. If the have any special stories or memories of this wonderfull strip be sure to share them. Please respond to mailto:John_Day_Basin_RMP@blm.gov the comment period ends Jan 29th 2009
I have posted a note on this subject on www.Shortfield.com as well. There is also pictures and a description of the strip.
Have a great Holiday and fly safe
Nice little strip and destination---hate to lose it---I'll do my part. Thanks for letting us know.
12-22-2008, 08:36 PM
Hope this helps, had to get in touch with my buracracy mind set, so went with feelings. Looking at gvt. no way common sense works.
here is my letter:
Thank you very much to be concerned with our public lands, and protection of them and the uses we enjoy. It is a great thing to be able to be a part of the decision process.
It has come to my attention that the planning process for the lands including Chukar Flats Airstrip has begun, and public comment is invited.
While you may be surprised that an Alaskan Bush Pilot, (been flying survey for the State Fish and Game Biologists) has any concern over lands in Oregon, please understand that many of the great folks we hire up here come from the southern 48 states, and many of us folks look south to travel in our time off.
Chukar Flats, though it may appear to be just a bit of buffalo grass and gravel to non-aviation folks, is actually a piece of serenity and heaven to the many pilots that choose this as their destination. Individuals, groups and travelers all find this as a stop to rest, enjoy public lands, and remind themselves why protection of public lands is important. Pilots themselves protect areas by picking up rubbish others leave and grooming the strips they are on.
Access to public lands is an important issue for the people today. In the face of the economy one question for many is will I have a place to live. Before too long that question will be answered yes we hope. Using Maslows model it will not be long before the question becomes: where can I go for personal fulfillment and satisfaction? In times of financial challenge, like now, the distance people can travel is limited by time off and disposable income. Having a remote access spot, close to home can make someones attitude change from surviving to living.
There are all kinds of people desiring all kinds of entertainment. Some go to the mall, some golf. Others run or Volksmarch, race cars, bikes and even lawn mowers. Some pilots love flying high and fast, others enjoy loops, rolls and spins. Many utilize their aircraft to visit a town miles away for a round of golf. All these folks have a place, we understand them.
Often forgotten and disregarded are those that use their aircraft to find their piece of solitude. Their destination may be a fishing spot, a place to raft a river, hiking, rock hounding, wildlife viewing, back country ski, or just a spot to sit and let nature disperse the stress of every day life. For these folks, of which I am one, need Chukar Flats, and other remote strips, protected for aircraft use as much as the people of Washington DC need their freeway loops for transportation.
No quantitative statistical formula can be created to determine the importance of such a small piece of flat landing area 1,000'x25'. Without being able to make a first landing on a remote strip, touching the wheels in the long grass after a decent through the canyon and over the river, these strips are just marks on a map. Unlike a farmer, we the pilots can not show you how many cows or bushels of crops this land is worth. As remote becomes extinct in the United States, we want our access into what is left preserved.
The final thought I wish to leave you with is about my father. His last three years on this earth were painful for him both in mind and spirit. A man that walked for a living had been reduced to a crippled shadow of his former self, unable to walk even around the house many days.
Our final hunting trip, other than driving the roads, was up at the cabin he had been taking me to since I was very young. This cabin is 20 miles off the road, a long boat ride, (which he could not take), or an hour on a snowmobile, (impossible for him), or a short flight in my plane. He went with me that day to look around the cabin, taking a rest between the plane and the cabin. He was so pleased to be there, outside civilization, away from traffic and crowds, that we stayed the day looking for grouse.
That day was the best day of his final years, for both of us. It was made possible by an airstrip on public lands; the same airstrip I took my wife on our first date 15 years ago. It is just a 970'x10' piece of gravel bar along a river to many. To the pilots that land there it is of immeasurable value.
Please protect the aviation communities stake in Chukar Flats historical strip and continue it's aviation use. Many benefits have and will come from pilots' ladings there, even if it is not always obvious.
Thank you for reading this,
George R. Campbell
Alaskan Outback Adventures
Very nice George----I didn't know you where that long winded :o
12-22-2008, 09:33 PM
John, Thanks for the heads-up on Chukar Flats. Had no idea it was in jeopardy. Lots of the Super Cub pilots here in Hood River fly out there on a regular basis. I'm sure they will want to do their part once they find out it's in danger. For those of you who've never been there here's a short video of a flight into Chukar Flats: http://www.vimeo.com/2274604
12-23-2008, 12:32 AM
Wow, that was good.
Now, no one else will haft'a write!
Pretty impressive for an AkGuy 'eh?
12-23-2008, 12:35 PM
Excellent letter George
It sets a high standard for the rest of us here in BC when we get cranky about similar happenings. Hope it has the needed effect.
12-23-2008, 02:18 PM
Wonderful Letter George....
Lets hope the powers that be read it and react appropriately.
I can't think of any better justification for preserving remote strips on public lands..
George, hope to meet you some day! Merry Christmas!
12-23-2008, 03:22 PM
That isn't a letter George....it is poetry. R
12-23-2008, 04:43 PM
George What a great letter. This should be the guide for many letters to various agencies who's job it is to satisfy the desires of the growing number of grenies. We just went thru the potential closure of the Missouri from Ft Benton to the reservoir. Many people sent letters many of us attended mtg at various places. I'm not sure if the bureaucrats are just ignorant or if they have a hidden agenda but it doesn't hurt to tell them how many time we have use some strip somewhere or how many times we have relied upon a place for an alternate airport. Thanks for your efforts.
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