Assembly opposes military airboat limits

Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly has sided with hunters over proposed limits on airboat use in the Tanana Flats. The land involved belongs to the military, which has published a proposed land management plan that would restrict air boats and lengthen a ban of off-road vehicles already in place in the area.

The assembly passed a resolution 8-2 Thursday saying that the Tanana Flats are widely used, the military doesn't have good reason to restrict access to them and that it should keep its regulations as they are.

According to the Fort Wainwright Natural Resource Management Plan, the Army is concerned about exposing people in the Tanana Flats to shelling, firing or unexploded shells.

The plan says the military is also concerned about hunters disrupting training and about off-road vehicles damaging the terrain.

Many hunters testifying before the assembly said limiting access was bad, but some said they were fed up with the roar of air boaters' engines.

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