Current weather

  • Overcast, mist
  • 54°
    Overcast, mist
  • Comment

Fishing guides, others, feel effects of shutdown

Refuge closed to all

Posted: October 7, 2013 - 8:44pm  |  Updated: October 14, 2013 - 10:28am
Photo by Will Morrow/Peninsula Clarion A notice posted on the gate at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge visitor center and headquarters Monday informs visitors that U.S. Fish and Wildlife lands and facilities are closed, and programs and activities canceled, due to a lapse in appropriations.
Photo by Will Morrow/Peninsula Clarion A notice posted on the gate at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge visitor center and headquarters Monday informs visitors that U.S. Fish and Wildlife lands and facilities are closed, and programs and activities canceled, due to a lapse in appropriations.

Cooper Landing resident Alec Lamberson had intended to take a furloughed government worker fishing Monday.

Plans changed when he and other guides received a call and email on Oct. 3 from a Kenai National Wildlife Refuge official stating that their special use permits, which allow them to provide commercial visitors services on the refuge, were suspended.

“(We) could go fishing and probably be OK,” Lamberson said. “But if they wanted to do something, they could pursue it.”

The suspension came on the heels of the Sept. 31 shutdown of the federal government.

According to the email that Lamberson and other guides received Oct. 3 from Andy Loranger, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge manager, special use permits have been suspended due to a lapse in appropriations resulting from the government shutdown. The suspension will remain in effect until such time as the government resumes its normal activities, at which time permit holders may resume operations on the refuge without further notice.

Loranger said the email message was sent to approximately 120 commercial visitor services that represent the gambit of businesses that use the refuge, from river guides to horse packing services to air taxi operators.

He said the message is the same for business owners and the public; all activities have been suspended.

“The refuge is officially closed,” Loranger said.

He said a few signs have been placed at the refuge as well as gated facilities. All refuge employees, with the exception of Loranger and five law enforcement officers, are currently not working.

Lamberson, owner of Kenai Experience, said he has been fishing the upper Kenai River as a guide for 13 years. His main season is June 11 through mid-October. While the month of October is a slower time than peak fishing season, he said he has lost revenue totaling $1,500 since the suspension.

“(Customers) are not booking, or canceling their trips,” he said.

He said there are only about ten commercial guides who use their special use permits for the Russian River to Skilak Lake area this late into the season.

Lamberson said he has spoken to Loranger and is frustrated because there is no signage indicating the boat launch closure. Loranger said boat launch closures could create public safety issues.

“I think they are saying one thing and doing another,” Lamberson said. “We kind of feel like we were selected as one user group.”

Andy Szczesny, of Soldotna, has been fishing for 30 years. He is a member of the Kenai River Special Management Area Board and said while the permit holders received word to stop services, there is no enforcement.

“They say it is closed, but it is not enforced,” he said.

He said he noticed a local shuttle service is still on the river, public use has not been curbed, it seems that just the permittees are shut down.

Szczesny, owner of Alaska Fish and Float, said he has lost close to $6,000 since the shutdown.

Jack Blackwell, area park superintendent with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, said a State Parks Citizen Advisory Board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Donald E. Gilman River Center to discuss issues with the Kenai River Special Management Area. He said the suspension of special use permits was not on the agenda, but he believes the topic will come up during the meeting.

Blackwell said there has not been any disruption to state parks and permits for sport fishing guides remain in effect.

“It has been business as usual,” he said Monday.

A sign on a gate at the refuge visitor center directs those seeking more information to visit the Department of Interior website.

According to the Bureau Of Land Management Contingency Plan dated Sept. 27, the BLM is the nations largest land management agency and has responsibility for managing 245 million surface acres, primarily in 11 Western States, including Alaska.

The fact sheet states that in the event that Congress is unable to enact appropriations for FY 2014, most activities of BLM will be halted. The services and programs that will cease include businesses operated by outfitters with BLM. Issued permits will not be able to operate on BLM lands and managed lands that are closed, as well as recreation areas, including campgrounds, visitors and concessions.

 

Reach Sara Hardan at sara.hardan@peninsulaclarion.com.

  • Comment

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 10/09/13 - 07:58 am
0
0
raoulduke

"None essential" to you. As I read the article there were a few who are losing the opportunity for their livelihood. I would suggest your comment should include more than “unhappy citizen.” It should be many unhappy citizens.

Vincent Nusunginya
24
Points
Vincent Nusunginya 10/09/13 - 11:50 am
0
1
Comment thread purged

Comment thread has been purged of off-topic posts.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/09/13 - 01:31 pm
0
1
I personally am sorry that I

I personally am sorry that I got off topic out of anger to others posts and this site was purged and some of those were my posts.
As for this story about feds shutting down everything every where world wide is a power play to cause major as well as much pain to ALL Americans, even here in Alaska at OUR Rivers and Parks.
It would be a hard pressed thing to get any Alaskan convicted for going on in fishing unless I'm mistaken about the character of Alaskans.
When confronted by Bullies we all have one of two choices, Fight or Flight when they Draw those RED LINES seeking to either control and cause fear and trembling, all need to be stood up to and they will usually back down.
After all WE THE PEOPLE are actually the Government, not the Feds in any area.
This shut down is causing major pain and it is getting worse daily with many Americans about to explode in protests Nation wide starting this Friday and on as news reveals.

Raoulduke
2590
Points
Raoulduke 10/10/13 - 03:20 am
0
0
non essential

The Speaker of the House has said the furloughed.Would be receiving BACK PAY.So! Tell me why are the Republican employing such government shut down tactics.When they plan to give the furloughed back pay.All it shows me is. The Republicans are blowing hot air,and They think .They are doing something good for AMERICANS,and AMERICA? Blame the House for furloughing 700,000.I for one do not understand.Why such a tactic was even implemented.Desperation I guess.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 10/10/13 - 07:26 am
0
0
Those who own the press control freedom of the press.

As the editor once told me. Those who own the press control freedom of the press.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/10/13 - 07:51 am
0
0
Closure's increasing

Closure's increasing Nationally, as well as Globally, all at the will of the elected President who wants what he wants, which does seem to be almost everything his way or else the pain rack gets cranked up more daily to apply pressure on Mean Old Americans, ALL OF US. Notice how there is no separation of Americans suffering, no matter the party?
So have any of you listened and bought that rice and beans and other available commodities yet while you still have some cash and things are on the shelves?
More shut downs with more focus on economics next, can you say banking or credit cards, SS deposits and others?
This article along with the King crab one and a multitude of others could be printed of things shut down, or left open by the One.
Signs have been all pointing to it all getting worse Nationally, as well as Globally if one would have been watching all the unrest economically, as well as politically world wide, it has too.
Get prepared for the worse by stocking up, while praying for the best.
Have a GR8 day.

Raoulduke
2590
Points
Raoulduke 10/10/13 - 12:16 pm
0
0
cutbacks

Now the 3.8 million Disabled Veterans,and Families may soon lose their non-essential compensation.I for one want to thank the House for such caring.The political backlash would be massive.Go ahead Politicians Deny the Vet,but I believe the large percentage of those 3.8 million "VOTE".

Back to Top

Spotted

Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321268/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321253/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321248/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321243/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321208/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/320593/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321173/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321163/
My Gallery

CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS