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

United States Department of Agriculture
Forest Service Alaska Region 
Misty Fiords National Monument
3031 Tongass Avenue
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901

Reply to: 2300

Date: December 2, 1992

Mr. Rob Scherer
PO Box 6117
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901

Dear Mr. Scherer:

Thank you for your letter of September 29. I apologize for the delay in response, however, it has taken this long to resolve some of your concerns.

First, I'd like to address our philosophy on the use of power equipment and hand tools. Several years ago, one of my predecessors established a policy of avoiding the use of power equipment (chain saws, log splitters, etc.) in the designated Wilderness, when feasible. As you are aware, we have endeavored to maintain this policy. However, we do not practice his policy in the area of the National Monument, which is outside of Wilderness. The reason for this is not due to inconsistent management, but is due to the different values and expectations of management in both wilderness and non-wilderness areas. Please be aware that we are frequently criticized for our policy of avoiding the use of power equipment in the Wilderness, particularly since ANILCA allows for such use. However, in the spirit of protecting and enhancing wilderness values, we maintain that it is in the best public interest to continue with our current policy.

In the past power equipment has been used in the Bakewell area. In fact, a power log splitter was used for Bakewell trail maintenance during the summer of 1991. You do bring up an excellent point, however, and that is our need to notify the public of our specific maintenance projects. This will allow visitors to avoid these areas if they feel viewing our maintenance activities will compromise their experience.

This year we completed our five-year monitoring of the Bakewell Fishway, and have dismantled the tent camp we had been using. We have decided, with concurrence from ADF&G, that we will not continue the monitoring program next year. However, we will likely have a crew visit the site periodically for routine maintenance activities.

We agree that Dale Pihlman has set a precedent with the installation of the two floating docks in Rudyerd Bay. Unfortunately, the Forest Service has no jurisdiction on saltwater. However, I contacted Dale and expressed our concern with the addition of the floats to the Rudyerd Bay area. He acknowledged that he and his staff had some misgivings regarding the floats. He told me that he would remove them at the end of the season and we would not see them again. [Emphasis added]

The crab pots you observed this summer in Wilson Arm at the loading facility did not belong to Cominco. They belonged to a local crab fisherman who had asked Cominco for permission to store them there. We have since contacted both Cominco and the fisherman to let them know that storage of crab pots at this site is not permissible. I have since met with the fisherman, discussed our concerns, and he has removed all the pots.

We appreciate your concerns for Misty Fiords National Monument and your interest in our management activities. Over the next several years we will be embarking on some planning efforts that will affect the future management of the National Monument. We look forward to your continued interest and suggestions.


Monument Ranger


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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