Kasilof River Special Use Area
Final Decision: KASILOF RIVER SPECIAL USE AREA - ADL 230992
*(Please click on this link to view the Complete Document).*
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
In response to growing public and agency concerns regarding the impacts from the intense use patterns on state land, especially during the Kasilof River Personal Use Fisheries, and a formal request to do so, the Southcentral Regional Land Office (SCRO), within the Division of Mining, Land and Water (DMLW), of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has made a final decision to designate the state lands of the lower Kasilof River area as “Special Use Lands” to be known as the Kasilof River Special Use Area (KARSUA) referenced as ADL 230992. The SCRO has determined that these lands contain special biological, habitat, and recreational values that warrant additional protections and other special requirements as listed on page 2 of the final KARSUA decision.
With relatively easy road access, increased participation rates, and the concentrated nature of the fisheries, a number of human uses have already impacted this area and will continue to strain the natural resources upon which the health of the fisheries rely. The land, water, fish, and wildlife values within the proposed KARSUA are held in high esteem by a diverse representation of area residents and the general public who use the area for a variety of purposes, principal among them being fishing and general recreation.
The newly established KARSUA includes approximately 1,010 acres of state owned and managed lands (see Map 1) and integrates a system of management designed not to limit overall public use, but to manage it, while providing for increased public enjoyment of the areas’ special resource values. This decision provides the rationale for specific management actions for the KARSUA and the basis for the development of regulations under the Alaska Administrative Procedures Act to be listed under the Alaska Administrative Code. Lands contained within the KARSUA will continue to be managed as public domain lands under the authority of Alaska Statute Title 38, and through the principles of multiple use.
The final KARSUA decision complements and updates the draft decision dated September 30, 2010, and was developed using all available information and public input as a result of the public review process. The draft decision was available for public and agency comment during a 70 day comment period beginning October 1, 2010, and ending December 10, 2010. During the notice period, the SCRO conducted three public meetings to introduce the KARSUA decision, answer questions, and solicit public comment. Meetings were held in Anchorage, Kasilof and Wasilla and in addition representatives from SCRO attended several other local meetings to discuss the issues within the lower Kasilof River area. A total of163 comments (including a petition signed by multiple individuals) were received during the public comment period. As a result of the comments received pertaining to the draft decision an Issue Response Summary (see Appendix A) has been completed by the SCRO which outlines the comments received during the public comment period, and provides formal responses to the issues and the accepted revisions.
PROTECTIONS AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
The following protections and special requirements developed through this process have been designed to address the needs within the area. It is important to note that the following protections and special requirements are not the final regulations for the area. Specific regulations for KARSUA will need to be adopted through a separate process under the Alaska Administrative Procedures Act. The list below is not comprehensive and may be expanded or modified in response to unforeseen resource impacts or other management needs or changes made through the regulatory process:
- Except for lawful hunting activity, a person may not discharge a firearm for the purpose of target or recreational shooting from June 1st through August 15th each year;
- A person may not place or set gear on the beach or tidelands prior to May 1st each year in anticipation of the Kasilof River Personal Use Set Gillnet Fishery;
- A person may not place, drop, or discard waste or refuse (including human waste) on state land, or in state waters, except within approved sanitation facilities ;
- A person may not dispose of fish waste landward of the vegetative line. Fish waste may continue to be disposed of by traditional means, which includes burying it on the beach or placement below the daily high tide line;
- A person may not deface, destroy, disable, or remove state owned or authorized facilities and/or property;
- An authorization is required for the placement of any commercial buoy, dock, boat launch/recovery, or mooring facility below the ordinary high water line of the Kasilof River;
- An authorization is required to stage or camp for a period longer than 21 consecutive days on the beach, seaward of the vegetative line. This is only during the season;
- An authorization is required to stage or camp for a period longer than 14 consecutive days landward of the vegetative line;
- Seasonal user fees may be proposed to offset costs of managing the KARSUA, including those associated with design, construction, operations, and maintenance of sanitation and other physical improvements necessary to reduce broad-based impacts to the commonly owned natural resources.
Limitations on the use of motorized vehicles does not apply to aircraft or boat, or on state or borough maintained roads, roadways, private driveways, designated parking, designated trails, beaches and other areas including Fisherman's Road and established trails throughout unit KB (also see management for unit KB for details)
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE KARSUA
ENFORCEMENT: Adoption of this special use area is the first step in creating a management structure for the lower Kasilof River that will address the present and emerging management problems. Formal adoption of agency regulations will be the next step toward bringing order to the use and enjoyment of this area by Alaskan residents and visitors alike. These regulations will be consistent with the management intent of this special use area. In order for these regulations to become enforceable, statutory authority must be granted by the Alaska Legislature and a Bail Forfeiture Schedule adopted by the Alaska Supreme Court. Once adopted and enforceable, non-criminal citations (similar to a traffic ticket) may be issued by designated peace officers of the state.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: Compliance tools, such as education and public awareness, are a very important part of the KARSUA. In order to lower impacts to the natural resources and improve the public's overall enjoyment of the area, the following will be considered and implemented as feasible:
- Provide dedicated staff onsite to answer questions and dispense information
- Promote educational materials, signage, brochures, and kiosks
- Develop partnerships with community groups and/or stewards in the area
- Support regeneration projects within heavily impacted areas
- Establish community clean-up events
- Develop education and awareness programs
TIMELINE & ACTIONS: A brief timeline and list of actions required to implement the KARSUA is outlined below. These timeframes are approximate and subject to change based upon funding, resources, and departmental priorities.
- May 2011: Final KARSUA Decision Issued
- May 2011: Installation of the Dune Fencing Project within Unit KS
- June-August 2011: Basic Sanitation Support, Limited Field Presence and Public Education
- Summer/winter 2011-2012: Regulation Process per the Administrative Procedures Act
- Winter/Spring 2012: Statutory Enforcement Authority and Bail Forfeiture Schedule
- Summer 2012: Additional Support Facilities, Rehabilitation Projects, Public Education
Hard copies of the KARSUA decision are also available on request by contacting the DNR Public Information Center at 907-269-8400 and questions about the KARSUA should be directed to either: Adam Smith at 907-269-8557 email@example.com or Emily Haynes at 907-269-8568 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boundary and Units
General Land Status
Lower River Land Status
Appendix B: Map A: Southside Facilities
Appendix B: Map B: Northside Facilities
Kasilof Fencing Project Final Decision
Memorandum of Land Use Permit Decision
*Please click on this link to view the Decision and Map*
PLEASE NOTE THE COMMENT PERIOD FOR THE FENCING DECISION HAS ENDED.
The Kasilof Regional Historical Association proposed to erect a permanent fence on state uplands landward of mean high water beginning at the end of the guard rail at the terminus of Cohoe Beach Road to the mouth of the Kasilof River. Above is a link to the decision.