Opposition to HB 351allowing ATVs in Nancy Lakes SRA

To:  House Resource Committee members

Ref:  Oppose HB 351

Dear House Resource Committee Members;

The Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition opposes HB 351 and asks you to vote no.  This bill would authorize the use of ATV’s in the Nancy Lakes State Recreation Area.  ATV use has been destructive to public lands, has disrupted public use of a park that was intended by its Master Plan to be a non motorized recreation area and is not necessary for accessing private inholdings in the park or private parcels beyond the park boundary.

The NLSRA’s master plan never has allowed for the use of ATV’s.  Years after the park was designated Park managers did permit a limited number of people with inholdings to access their property across park lands.  As the number of permits increased so did the ATV use turning single lane trails into muddy, braided quagmires.  The park was not being managed for the protection of the environment, the enjoyment of the greater public or the way the master plan outlined it should be.  When the ATV issue could not be resolved the case went to the Supreme Court.  The court took a careful look at the case making the decision to revoke the permits and for park managers to follow the NLSRA master plan.

The court made the right decision. There are relatively few areas where ATV use is not allowed.  ATV use is causing long range damage to wetlands, muskegs, poorly drained forests and tundra throughout the state.  There is a need for places where the public can enjoy Alaska’s beauty free from the noise and damage done by ATV’s.  NLSRA should continue to be managed as the master plan states –  without ATV’s.

Please vote no to HB 351.


Brian Okonek,  President
Alaska Quiet Rights Coaltion