NPS issues Guidelines for Access Handbook
Posted by RK
at 2:59 am, November 5th 2006.
Our hats are off to the National Park Service and Deputy Regional Director Vic Knox who recently announced their newly drafted Guiding Principles — Access to Inholdings.
Speaking at the fall McCarthy Area Council meeting Knox said the finished document, (at this time in draft form,) would be part of the next version of the NPS Access Handbook.
Residents see this as a welcome answer to the editorial written by Neil Darish and published May 8, 2004 in the Anchorage Daily News. (Reprinted in the July & August 2004 WSEN.)
“Nature and thriving pre-existing communities are not mutually exclusive concepts,” wrote Darish. He continued, “Management actions reflecting the 1960s philosophy of ‘man is a threat to the wilderness’ instead of the worldwide standard that ‘the residents are a resource’ are counterproductive.”
Darish closed his appeal with this statement: “What is needed is a clear statement from our Park Service Alaska regional director that her philosophy allows the residents in this park to thrive.”
We believe the Guiding Principles are indeed a clear statement and will go a long way towards building trust and respect towards this agency whose past record is dismal when it comes to inholder relations.
We look forward to working with the new WRST Superintendent Meg Jensen as she builds on the good legacy that the late Jed Davis left behind.
Guiding Principles - Access to Inholdings
1. Residents within Alaska's National Parks are part of the essential fabric of the parks. We
acknowledge their value in providing services to park visitors and continuing traditional
2. The National Park Service wants to see residents and communities within and around parks
thrive. The NPS seeks to establish mutually respectful long-term relationships with all of our
3. ANILCA 1110 (b) gives owners of property within Alaska's National Parks a guaranteed and
permanent right to adequate and feasible access.
4. ANILCA 1110(b) also gives the NPS the responsibility to reasonably regulate access to
inholdings to insure that the access does not cause undue harm to park resources.
5. Documenting private access across park lands provides certainty to the landowner and to the
NPS. Certainty of access will allow landowners to make long-term plans and insure that access
occurs in ways that minimize effects on park resources.
6. The documentation and authorization process should be as quick, simple, inexpensive and
enduring as possible. This process should be transparent to the public and fully understood by
all NPS managers.
7. Access under ANILCA 1110(b) does not affect the status or validity of other access rights
under other state and federal authorities (such as RS 2477).
8. The NPS will treat all landowners fairly and consistently across the state and over time.
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