Copy of e-mail to agencies and news media

This is the floating dock that has been operating un-permitted in Misty Fiords National Monument/Wilderness since 1992. It has tripled in size to this and has made Alaska Cruises (Dale Pilman) and Goldbelt (Joe Beetle) hundreds of thousands of dollars. Goldbelt, prompted by complaints from permitted users and the Forest Service, has in the last week, finally applied for the permit with the State DNR. The DNR however, without local knowledge, consultation, or scientific basis, has allowed the controversial activities to continue without the proper reviews by other State and Federal agencies, and without public comment regarding conflicts with permitted users.

As you can plainly see in the photographs there is more to this floating dock issue than its conflict with the Forest Service management of the uplands. Goldbelt has not fully informed everyone of its intent to not only use the floating dock as a transfer station for the 90 passengers from the 65' catamaran Majestic Fiord to the 15+ floatplanes also transferring its passengers to the catamaran to complete the cruise/fly option, BUT also using the un-permitted floating dock as a base of operations for the purposes of outfitting campers, kayakers, and fisherman.

It is a strikingly compromising situation for permitted users to visit this pristine wilderness area and to encounter a virtual "tent city" established on the un-permitted floating dock for the benefit of campers and kayakers that have been fully outfitted by Goldbelt. The photos show not only the tents but a porta-pottie and propane cooking station not to mention the storage of the kayaks and other gear.

Listen very carefully...the original complaint I filed regarding the floating dock was based on the fact that the surrounding environment is managed by clear, established guidelines by the Forest Service and the Tongass Land Management Plan, ANILCA, The Wilderness Act of 1980,and the Presidential Proclamations of 1978 which concludes without question that the activities associated with the dock that have occurred since 1992 are no way consistent with wilderness management. NOW...in addition to that complaint...AS I HAVE WARNED...Goldbelt has now set another precedent with inappropriate activities surrounding the dock by setting up an outfitting division of their business and encouraging the use of the dock as a campsite. They have no outfitter/guide permit for this activity either!

Goldbelt/Alaska Cruises needs to be held responsible for their un-permitted activities and their unethical behavior. Misty Fiords Wilderness has been forever compromised. To continue to allow and/or to permit these conflicting activities in the Misty Fiords area it will certainly diminish and seal the fate of the future of the Monument...just another National Forest.

Rob Scherer

  

Correspondence list

The Presidential Proclamation establishing Misty Fiords 

Letter from Rob Scherer to Misty Fiords Ranger Don Fisher regarding the  un-permitted floating dock in Rudyerd Bay, and other issues (September 29, 1992)

Letter from US Forest Service Ketchikan District Ranger to Rob Scherer responding to concerns about the un-permitted floating dock in Rudyerd Bay and other issues (December 12, 1992)

Department of Natural Resources management direction for tide and submerged lands (agency review draft, June 1999)

Excerpt from e-mail message from Jeremiah Ingersoll, Ketchikan District Ranger (July, 1999)

Letter from US Forest Service Ketchikan District Ranger to Alaska Department of Natural Resources regarding complaints about the un-permitted floating dock in Rudyerd Bay (July 20, 1999)

E-mail message from Rob Scherer to agencies and news media (August, 1999)

Letter to the Editor of the Ketchikan Daily News (September 13, 1999)

Comments to the US Army Corps of Engineers about the floating docks (December 1999)

US Forest Service

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

Mike Stanley

 


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Friends of Misty Fiords Wilderness
c/o Rob Scherer
PO Box 6117
Ketchikan, AK 99901

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