From: alra@governance.net
Subject: New Alaska Park Battle – New Questionnaire Posted

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 – E-mail: alra@landrights.org or
alra@governance.net  Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

New Alaska Park Battle – New Questionnaire Posted

>>>First – Have you sent your comment questionnaire to the Park Service
regarding the Pilgrim family and RS 2477 access?  

The deadline is Monday, February 23rd at 12:00 PM

Please don’t fail to do your part.   This is a team game.

Please see the new specially formatted comment questionnaire
posted to www.landrights.org.  Just download it and fax
it to the Park Service.

>>>Second – As you will see in the Associated Press story below, the
Park Service is out of control in Alaska and elsewhere.  This is a story 
about a lodge owner in the same Wrangell – Saint Elias National Park 
where the Pilgrims are being vilified.

>>>Lodge owner welcomes battle with National Park Service<<<

MARY PEMBERTON, Associated Press Writer
  Tuesday, February 17, 2004


(02-17) 18:18 PST ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) --

Lodge owner Doug Frederick wants the National Park Service to make an
example out of him.

He's refusing to pay a $500 fine for failing to have a permit to place
wooden pallets on muddy sections of a trail inside the Wrangell-St. Elias
National Park because he says the agency invited his help and then betrayed

"I was working with the Park Service. Basically, they set me up," Frederick
said. "Somebody has to expose the Park Service. These people are clear out
of control."

Frederick's lawyer filed an appeal Tuesday.

Frederick, 54, said his problems with the National Park Service show an
increasingly hostile attitude the agency is taking toward private property
owners inside the country's largest national park. There are several hundred
inholders inside the 13.2 million-acre Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and
collectively they own about 1 million acres.

"The Park Service will do anything to get `inholders' out," Frederick said.
"They don't want anybody living in their park."

Frederick's family has owned property inside the park since the 1950s, well
before the Wrangell-St. Elias was established in 1980.

Despite what many inholders think, park superintendent Gary Candelaria, said
the agency does not want to drive them out.

"It is not our intent to acquire the inholdings and move them out," he said.
"None of us, from myself down to the ranger, we don't like adversarial
relationships with our neighbors. We're just folks, too."

Candelaria became Wrangell-St. Elias superintendent in 1999. His most recent
position before that was as superintendent of Pinnacles National Monument in
California. For 11 years, he was chief ranger at Sitka National Historical

Frederick's problems began in July 2002 when about 85 people attended a
meeting with Park Service officials to discuss a trail damaged by

According to a court document, chief ranger Hunter Sharp asked the crowd for
ideas on repairing the trail and said the Park Service didn't have the money
to do the work itself.

Frederick said the locals could help fix up the mud holes. Sharp responded,
"That's one way to approach it." He also said he could not officially
approve repairs, but, "if you are trying to do the right thing I will not
jump on your case."

Last May, Frederick and some friends loaded pallets onto four-wheelers and
headed into the park. They placed the pallets across three muddy areas to
keep the trail from being further damaged. He sent a photo of the pallets in
use to a regional supervisor, asking him what he thought.

What happened next floored Frederick, he said. The agency cited him for
building inside the park without a permit. A federal magistrate fined him
$500 this month.

"They never once said I needed a permit," Frederick said. "We were set up --
lock, stock and barrel."

Candelaria said Frederick was told to get a permit if he wanted to do work
in the park.

"He violated park regulations and did so knowingly, I think," Candelaria
said. "He never gave us a chance to talk to him. He went out and did it
first. ... He just kind of blew us all off."

Frederick's attorney, Wayne Anthony Ross, said the pallets were no more
construction than somebody setting up a tent. If the Park Service didn't
like the pallets, all they had to do was to ask Frederick to remove them.

"These people were trying to provide assistance and they got nailed by the
Park Service," Ross said.

Frederick's father built the Sportsmen's Paradise Lodge in Slana in 1969 on
about six acres. Frederick also has five acres on a lake with some rental
cabins. Frederick took over the lodge in 2001 after his father died.

In August 2002, the Park Service decided to close a couple of trails near
Frederick's lodge because of four-wheeler damage. Frederick said those
trails had been used for decades, and one of them was a route to his rental

Frederick said closing the trails has just about killed his summer business.
He can't find customers willing to pay $1,900 to get to and from the cabins
by charter plane.

While he still has some snowmobilers who like to ice fish, the days are gone
when families with children would rent out the cabins for the Fourth of July
holiday, he said.

"It is getting tougher and tougher and tougher. My folks used to be able to
make a living here, but over the years they watched the business disappear,
ever since the Park Service came in," Frederick said.

Inholders may view access differently than park managers, said Park Service
spokesman John Quinley.

"They clearly have rights of access, but it is not unfettered access. It is
subject to reasonable regulation," he said.

Ray Kreig, vice chairman of the Alaska Land Rights Coalition, a group that
is fighting for inholders, said the Park Service is trying to undo rights
guaranteed under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of
1980. The congressional act designated a total of 106 million acres of
Alaska as parks, refuges, preserves and recreation areas, and says inholders
are entitled to reasonable access to their properties inside the parks.

Kreig said Alaska's national parks are increasingly being controlled by park
supervisors with a Lower 48 park management mentality.

"They want a green wall around the park that nobody can go in unless they're
healthy hikers," Kreig said. "Our parks were supposed to be different."

Kreig is involved in another access case in the Wrangell-St.Elias involving
the 17-member Pilgrim family. The family, which owns 140 acres, got the Park
Service's attention when it used a bulldozer to reopen an old mining road so
it could bring supplies in from the nearest town. The agency reacted by
closing the road.

A federal judge ruled that the family should have gotten a permit to use the
bulldozer and would have to wait for the agency to issue an environmental

The 120-page assessment issued in January favors giving the family a special
use permit to use the road. But Kreig said the Park Service has placed so
many restrictions on the permit it is of little practical use to bring in
much-needed supplies, including fuel and building insulation.

"Congress grants people like the Pilgrims and Frederick access to their
property," Kreig said. To deny that access "is unfair, a gross injustice."


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