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Thread: USFS Taking N#'s at Big Creek

  1. #1
    aviationinfo's Avatar
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    USFS Taking N#'s at Big Creek

    FYI....

    I passed through Big Creek the other day after having spent three nights at Mile Hi. When I landed a Forest Service employee walked up and took down our N#'s---he said they were just trying to track usage. He was very nice so I didn't try to beat up on him, but I did mention that since Big Creek is a state-owned and maintained airport it was interesting that the USFS was doing a survey. Were they planning to share the data with the airport's owner? There never has been anything controversial about landing at Big Creek, so I found this very odd.

    He also asked if I had been to Vines or Dewey Moore on this trip, (forgot to ask me about Mile Hi). I hadn't.

    Something's definitely going on, considering the USFS's actions of a few months ago regarding the "emergency" strips back there.

    We need to think about what's generating this. This past weekend there was a Husky fly-in at Johnson Creek; as we were leaving there were formations of them heading down the Big Creek drainage to Mile Hi. I really enjoyed the recent video of the S'cubs landing there but I noted the C-180's supersonic prop noise in the background...Maybe we better rethink the way we run around in packs of airplanes during fly-ins out there, shooting landings. Do we really need a dozen planes at MH at once?

    We probably ought to agree that at some of these pristine places---we should voluntarily limit the noise just like we do at our home airports---for the same reasons. Go there and hike around for awhile /camp, or make one landing / takeoff and move on to the next place. Come back much later if you want to make another landing.

    Just seems like it's easier NOT have to fight a battle than to force the issue...at least if we want to keep using these strips in the Frank Church wilderness. (Go ahead, I have my flame-retardant suit on...)
    Aviationinfo

  2. #2
    SJ's Avatar
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    Great post, and I agree that the best defense is to be a good ambassador of aviation (in general, not just in these neat places) and to be as low impact as we can.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

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    aviationinfo's Avatar
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    And...I definitely don't mean it to be critical of C-180's...I really wished I had one for this trip. We had three guys but only two airplanes (a Husky and my '12). Was tricky getting all our gear / water / stuff plus ourselves packed into the available space!
    Aviationinfo

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    The they took down your N number was because you had a husky
    along. If it had been a SUPERCUB he would have bowed down and
    worshiped.

  5. #5
    OldCuby's Avatar
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    When I was at Big Creek in June 2008, a young USFS lady took my N number along with several other planes. She may have said why, I don't recall, but if she did, it did not ring any bells with me.

    Any plans for a new lodge at Big Creek?
    Jim

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    The rangers at Indian Creek told us that their is a guest log at all of the state maintained strips and requested that we signed in at any of the strips that we stopped in so they could track usage and show that they are being used and that there is a reason to keep them open. So it it good to also show that these strips are being used and that the state is collecting our tourist dollars for visiting their back country strips. Use it or some legislator will think the state makes no money from these strips and vote to quit maintaining them.
    It would be nice to know if they are just tracking usage or have other motives for collecting N numbers.

  7. #7
    aviationinfo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by btracy
    The rangers at Indian Creek told us that their is a guest log at all of the state maintained strips and requested that we signed in at any of the strips that we stopped in so they could track usage and show that they are being used and that there is a reason to keep them open. So it it good to also show that these strips are being used and that the state is collecting our tourist dollars for visiting their back country strips. Use it or some legislator will think the state makes no money from these strips and vote to quit maintaining them.
    It would be nice to know if they are just tracking usage or have other motives for collecting N numbers.
    Well, I need to read the legislation establishing the wilderness area. My understanding is that the law says the airstrips WILL stay open if they were established prior to the designation as a wilderness area. So if I'm correct it doesn't matter if nobody ever flies into one of them.

    Having said that, I did just skim something about management of the strips. The USFS is allowed to do some tracking to establish the level of use so that they can determine when it gets to the point where limits are needed. AND also to charge user fees. Perhaps that's what's going on here, wouldn't surprise me.

    The other thing that really bothers me is that the Big Creek strip is 1)Not owned by the USFS, 2) not maintained by the USFS, and the biggest: 3) not even in the wilderness area. There is no reason for them to try to log landings there. It's a state owned facility, although there is a ranger station next to the airport.

    Then you also have to wonder why they need N#'s. It's a federally designated wilderness area so to me it shouldn't matter where the users are from. Do they take down license plate numbers at national parks, or just count cars?

    It just doesn't seem right to me--- I hope I'm wrong. Maybe the USFS has a side agreement with the state to do some of the work and share costs.
    Aviationinfo

  8. #8
    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    USFS N numbers

    It is always a very touchy issue with me when someone writes my reg as it implies "I'm going to turn you in." It seems to be a trend in the USA post 9/11 and to me it just plain smells bad. Maybe we have to suck it in and be gracious.

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    That is your tax dollars working for you, and our best interests.

  10. #10
    fatcub's Avatar
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    The Rangers at Moose Creek have been taking numbers for years. Their stories have all been the same, "Just info for usage purposes". And as far as impact,,,, airplanes are as easy on the environment as fun can get. Just take a look at the single tracks left all over the forest from "green" mountain bikes or horses. We leave a much smaller foot print and the USFS knows it.

    Relax, It's no giant conspiracy............Or is it??????

    Scott

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    The problem with 180, 182, 185 is noise. We should go to three bladed props for noise reduction on wheels and floats. I love the sound of the long props but not all people do. one argument is it bothers the wildlife. I don't agree but it is hard to fight.

    Flying floats from water ways where humans are I found much less complaints when we ran three bladed props.

  12. #12
    jr.hammack's Avatar
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    in my prior life as a cattle rancher, i heard the same line were just checking for our records,this was just before babbits cattle free before 93 fiasco. the green agenda is to rid the public lands of the public,period!! mining,logging,livestock,and most the sport activities have been effected already,trails,roads, have been impacted.alaska is a good example,most of the good hunting areas have locked up,for public good.willow lake was closed this winter to ski planes,the good people on the lake want the float planes gone too,even though it has been a dot designated lake for years!! enough of my rant,ya may or may not agree!! i also belive if (feds & local ) start having public input,it usually already a done deal!!

    jr.

  13. #13

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    the only power a government agency has is to shut things down, this makes them feel in control.

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