View Full Version : Chickaloon Flats

11-18-2003, 07:23 PM
Notice to the Anchorage area pilots. Here is an e-mail I received today.

Greetings all:

The Alaska Airmen's Association is going to bat for Alaska's pilots on this nasty Chickaloon Flats matter.* Please inform your friends that anyone cited for landing there has received a CRIMINAL citation. It is not a simple 'traffic ticket.' This is not something they can accept lying down.

Interested parties have retained an attorney and have spoken with some of the leading minds in Alaska on land issues such as this. We have the beginnings of a strategy to respond to the FWS action. ORGANIZING and approaching the FWS EN MASSE has been suggested as the best approach by people who know of what they speak. The subject is complex and not amenable to simplistic legal strategies.

A meeting will be held VERY SOON to bring the experts together and form a CONSTRUCTIVE strategy to deal with the situation. First and foremost is to cancel all the citations against pilots and stop trying to hunt down other pilots who allegedly landed on the Flats. Later, we'll address the matter of reasonable access to the area, which is only accessible by aircraft.

Please watch for an urgent update on the date/time/place of the meeting. PLEASE ATTEND. Spread the word to all interested pilots and users or wish-to-be users of the Chickaloon River and the Chickaloon flats for benign fishing and hunting activities. The Airmen's will send out a notice, and I'll send it to you also in case you are not a member.

If you are a pilot but are not a member of the Airmen's, please join them NOW. Call them at 245-1251 to join. This is YOUR BEST ADVOCATE IN ALASKA for the rights of pilots against unjust government actions at all levels. After them, there isn't anyone standing up for your rights.

Thank you and stay tuned.

PS to Jennifer Yuhas of the Alaska Outdoor Council! This is definitely an issue of interest to the AOC! Please contact me (a Life Member) and inform your Anchorage area Board Members of this. AOC's participation is needed!

* for those of you who do not know what this is about, the FWS has recently announced a "crack down" on pilots who use the Chickaloon area south of Anchorage for fishing or hunting. They are sending out criminal citations and are actively hunting down other pilots who have used the area. This comes as quite a surprise to many law-abiding citizens we've spoken with. It's a federal lock-up of YOUR public lands in the most nasty of manners: they make you a federal criminal! Meanwhile, the tracks left behind by anyone who landed on the flats have long since been washed away by the tides.......

If you want a contact name and phone number, PM me.

11-18-2003, 09:34 PM
Is that the Chickaloon flats near Hope on the N. end of the Kenai Pen?

11-18-2003, 09:36 PM
Yes, it is. A friend of mine is one of the "criminals."

11-18-2003, 09:39 PM

11-18-2003, 09:53 PM
I don't know for sure. Some fairly prominent locals are pretty pissed off, so the FWS has stirred up a fight.

11-18-2003, 10:02 PM

11-18-2003, 11:35 PM
So, I'm curious, is the issue the mudflats, or within the "Kenai National Wildlife Refuge? (looks to me like the boundary is at mean low low tide in the western portion of the flats, perhaps a bit offshore in the eastern).

Click Link Below For the BIG Picture

4. Airplanes may operate only within designated areas on the Chickaloon Flats, as depicted on a map available from the refuge manager, (907) 262-7021.

5. Airplane operation is permitted on the Kasilof River, the Chickaloon River outlet, and the Kenai River below Skilak Lake from June 15 through March 14. All other rivers on the NWR are closed to aircraft.

11-18-2003, 11:48 PM

11-18-2003, 11:53 PM
Sorry Stewart I was editing while you were typing (turns out if you store a gif file the thumbnail program resizes to a gif file).

What I meant was, did the ticket get issued within the boundaries or outside the boundaries? I haven't found the "refuge manager's map".

11-18-2003, 11:56 PM
That's part of the dispute. The "ticket" was issued 6 weeks after the "incursion." It seems such a violation should be issued at the time, like a traffic ticket. But this, as the original e-mail says, is a criminal action. Oddly, the FWS website doesn't include a map of legal airplane-access areas. You need to get a map from the director's office. Does that imply the area changes? And if so, by whose direction?

12-01-2003, 09:18 PM
Stewart, any new info here? I saw something about it in the Alasaka Airmen's bulletin.


12-02-2003, 10:13 AM
The organized meeting hasn't been announced. My friend has his summons, and has had to retain an attorney to represent him. This is really quite interesting. In his case, he bird hunts this area every year. He contacted the Area's manager and received an aviation map. There is a color legend that identifies the "wilderness" areas and the non-wilderness refuge area. There are some references to open landing areas as well. He was either in or very near one of the landing zones, whose definition is weak, at best. Clearly, he was outside the defined "wilderness" area. He told me while duck hunting in September, he remembers a Cub circling over a couple of times, and that he figured it was an interested hunter. Two months later, he gets a criminal summons for being there. It seems that if an official person was witnessing an incursion, they should have landed and cited him right there. His attorney is working on the case.

12-07-2003, 07:18 PM
stay tuned. I know a tiny bit about this issue also, and urge y'all to keep an eye on this thread and/or the other one on the Chickaloon.

there will be more news coming soon on this. in the meantime, if you or any one you know has been cited, or uses the area and has not been cited, have them contact the Alaska Airmen's association, and also ask to be referred to the attorney that is working on the matter. very important that a person not blindly go to court against the citation.

remember that the new homeland security rules and the new TSA powers are still being sorted out (or sordid out if you prefer). Transport pilots getting stung with this could be on unemployment. regular joes could find the heat that comes after the conviction is appalling. likely much worse than the downstream affects of getting a negligent driving ticket after hitting another car. the ticket is nothing compared to insurance impacts and other costs. it's a serious game.

maybe more news in a few days.

02-04-2004, 08:27 PM
excerpt from the Alaska Airmen's Member Info Bulletin 2-3-04

Looks like we will have an opportunity to publicly state our position and opposition to violation procedures at Chickaloon Flats Landing Access: Scoping meeting schedule: 4 - 8 p.m. Feb 10, Cooper Landing Feb 11, Homer Feb 12, Soldotna Feb 17, Seward Feb 18, Anchorage Email comment address: kenai_plan@fws.gov Refuge phone number: 907-262-7021 (See calendar below for each location).

They have a map they send to pilots who request it, but they would be willing to put it on their web site, or do other things that might help to get the word out. USFWS is starting a planning process to review their "master plan" for the refuge. It will be a traditional EIS, multi-year process, however scoping meetings are planned that will take place over the next two weeks. They need input from the aviation community!

Calendar of Events: February 2004

10th Kenai Wildlife Refuge Open House/Public Feedback Opportunity, Cooper Landing School 4-8pm

11th Kenai Wildlife Refuge Open House/Public Feedback Opportunity,
Homer, Islands & Oceans Visitor Center 4-8 pm

12th Kenai Wildlife Refuge Open House/Public Feedback Opportunity,
Soldotna, Kenai River Center 4-8pm

17th Kenai Wildlife Refuge Open House/Public Feedback Opportunity,
Seward, Seward Sealife Center 4-8pm

18th Kenai Wildlife Refuge Open House/Public Feedback Opportunity,
Anchorage, FWS Center, 1011 E Tudor, 4-8pm