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Alaska's Rep. Don Young Wants National Park Service To Get Out of the Water At Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve



In perhaps just the most recent example of legislative might, U.S. Rep. Don Young of Alaska is determined to kick the National Park Service out of the water at Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.

The Republican, outraged that park rangers handcuffed a 70-year-old last fall when he failed to meet their requests to answer a few questions and show them his boat registration papers, Congressman Young attached a rider to the Interior funding bill last week that "(F)orbids the National Park Service from enforcing regulations activities on waters in Alaska’s Yukon-Charley National Preserve."

If you read news accounts of what transpired, it seems as if misunderstandings and over-reactions on both sides precipitated the confrontation. While a bench trial in the matter has yet to return a verdict on who was in the wrong, Congressman Young has made up his mind.

“I am very pleased that my colleagues (on the House Appropriations Committee) were able to see the glaring overreach by the Park Service in Yukon-Charley.  The inclusion of my request (to forbid NPS enforcement on the Yukon River) is important to preserving the freedoms of Alaskans, and to protecting ANILCA," the Republican said in a prepared statement.

Another "highlight" of the Interior funding bill cited by Congressman Young is a provision to block "judicial review from any effort to delist gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states."


Just another Republican at work.

Wow.  This is a Republican on steroids.  Google him and see what  you find.

Friends, be sure to read the news account link. This incident should be viewed in the context of a thirty-year long battle over jurisdiction involving ANILCA lands and waters and the State of Alaska. There will likely be an NPS Board of Review re perceived heavyhanded NPS response. Should make for interesting reading given the remoteness of the site, general hostility to NPS on the part of Alaskans, and the fact that elderly people can kill just as effectively as young people.

Dang!  I'd like to take good old Mr. Young a trip in my boat to the bridge to nowhere!

I think its's a good move.  Somrthing needs to be done to get the attention of NPS law enforcers.  They have become a bunch of Rambo's who answer to no one.  What law enforcement has the righ to flag me down and interrogate me without reason.  Especially in the middle of a wild river.  Yea, better watch out for the elderly,  We're all out on the river running guns and peddling dope.

I think its's a good move. Somrthing needs to be done to get the attention of NPS law enforcers. They have become a bunch of Rambo's who answer to no one. What law enforcement has the righ to flag me down and interrogate me without reason. Especially in the middle of a wild river. Yea, better watch out for the elderly, We're all out on the river running guns and peddling dope.

   From the accounts of the incidents, it does sound as if NPS LE went overboard. I remember there were issues with some LE rangers working at Point Reyes NS who seemingly abused their authority by pepper spraying someone asking why they had a friend in handcuffs. This was actually off NPS land, and they were apparently using their authority as deputized by the Marin County Sheriff Dept.

However - random inspections are legal in many jurisdictions. The US Coast Guard makes random inspections all the time, including some riverways. They'll check for proper paperwork and legally required safety equipment.

There were over-reactions on both sides...But if your going to be in law enforcement,you don't get to over react.

This comment was edited to remove speculative accusations.--Ed.

Unless you were there and actually involved in the incident all comments are based purely on partial information and speculation.  I'm sure no one has ever heard of a subject in a law enforcement incident presenting a biased account of the incident.  It always seems that people without law enforcement experience and training are pretty quick to critique law enforement officers actions with very little information. The legal reasonableness of an LE officers actions are based not on what the general public thinks of the action, but on what a reasonable officer in a similar situation with similar information would have done.  Most people say they support law enforcement, but it is very suprising how many people qualify that with " long as LE is not interferring with me.."
Let's let this work through the Court system, not the court of public opinion

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