Letter to the Editor, Ketchikan Daily News

September 13, 1999

Dear Editor,

Regarding the Misty Fiords article "Dock lacks state permit"

I hold a special use priority permit with the Forest Service to conduct approved activities within the boundaries of Misty Fiords National Monument. This National Treasure was set aside by Presidential Proclamation in 1978 to "provide a high degree of remoteness from the sights and sounds of humans and to assure opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation activities consistent with wilderness preservation." I must pay a fee to the U.S. Forest Service for any of my guests to set foot on land within Misty Fiords, and I must provide an activity report at the end of the season and then Iím charged accordingly. The guidelines are strict, as well they should be in order to maintain quality wilderness experiences for everyone within the Monument. No more than 12 people atone site at any given time. No more than 6 floatplane landings at one site in a given day, (Etc.).

I find the un-permitted, unauthorized activities associated with the floating dock in Rudyerd Bay and conducted by Alaska Cruises since 1992 not only inconsistent with wilderness preservation but irresponsible and unethical. They never applied for a permit! They pay nothing. They herd as many as 180 people at the floating dock at one time and require up to 12 or more floatplanes to complete the cruise/fly package. The daily traffic of the high speed catamaran and the squadron of noisy floatplanes barnstorming the bay is in direct contrast with wilderness, directly compromises permitted activities, negatively impacts wildlife and has displaced appropriate users, not to mention diminishes the wilderness experiences of recreational users and other small cruise ship passengers.

Alaska Cruises/Goldbelt should be held accountable for their irresponsible actions, should be fined for unauthorized use within the Misty Fiords National Monument, should immediately and permanently remove the floating dock and then be restricted to one "vessel only" excursion a day. Future unbridled action by them should cause their being permanently banned from any Wilderness Monument.

Those of us who follow the rules will be relentless in our pursuit of compliance and responsible ecotourism.

Misty Fiords is a National Treasure not Alaska Cruises/Goldbelt personal playground without rules!

Rob Scherer
Special use priority permit holder 


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


Home | Newspaper Articles | The Problem | Where is Misty Fiords
Scenic Photos
| Wildlife Photos | Correspondence on Loss of Wilderness Values
How to Make a Difference for the Future of Misty Fiords Wilderness

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

E-mail: info@mistyfiords.org

Contents of all pages are © 1999-2005 by Friends of Misty Fiords Wilderness
 except as otherwise indicated.  All rights reserved.