Monday, November 23, 2009

A friend in need.

This links to a petition about Ship Creek access. Ship Creek is an amazing run that helped the development of packrafting and offers outstanding whitewater recreation in the Anchorage Bowl.

Unfortunately and for reasons that are not fully clear, the US Army has closed it to all boating. That doesn't mean that people are not still running it, of course, it just means some people are getting away with it, even after getting caught.

Last year, eyes glazed in an adrenaline daze and floating below the base of Commando Drop, two of us were waved ashore by a "Conservation Officer", who then informed us that Ship Creek was closed.

We asked, "Can we run it one more time?" and believe it or not he said, "Yea, sure."

But Tim Johnson has not been so lucky. Unlike shoutdiggity and me he is going to court.

In an effort of whitewater community service to open the creek, he is accused of Federal Criminal Trespass.

The Federal government is threatening possible fines and even imprisonment. Faced with a court date just weeks from now, he must hire a lawyer, expensive for anyone at $2,500.

The outdoor community frequently supports those who are injured in their outdoor pursuits. Tim's actions in the making of a protest video for Ship Creek access were in the spirit of freedom for all of us.

Perhaps we can step forward and help a friend here? If nothing else he asks that if you have had had a run-in with the Military Police on Ship Creek to write him a quick story on your experience and how easily you were let off the hook/warned.

When sent together with a $50 bill or a c-note (which I am sure he'd appreciate), it might make a difference but in any event it looks like Tim's out of his boat here and needs some help.

Let's do what we can.


  1. Thanks Roman for the support. I guess the military is attempting to make an example of Tim. Any advice you can give him will be appreciated, I am sure.

    Bob Johnson (Tims Dad)

  2. If you guys have anything to send that will help me in court (whether it's a letter w/ your "run-in" experience with the M.P.s on Ship Creek or just a few extra pennies, you can send it to

    Tim Johnson
    PO BOX 111181
    Anchorage, AK 99511

    The court date is set for December 15th, and if I go to trial that will be soon to follow. Thanks so much everyone. It means so much to have support from the paddling community. Hopefully good comes out of this & we'll all be paddling Ship Creek in peace again.

  3. Here's a link to the 2005 death of a kayaker on Ship Creek that is said to be the reason that the run is closed:


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