2017-07-14 / Front Page

New program will affect outdoorsmen

BY LAURA LEVERING
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

Big changes are coming to the way Fort Gordon handles outdoor recreation.

Beginning July 20, Fort Gordon will switch to a new online system, iSportsman. The system will result in two major changes.

The first big change will affect how patrons obtain permits for outdoor recreation in training areas. Currently, all permit sales are conducted at the Tactical Advantage Sportsman Complex. With iSportsman, permit sales at TASC will end and will only be available through the online system.

Applications for the Public Access Lottery are being accepted using iSportsman now through July 19. The lottery is the only portion of the system currently operational for registration.

The second major change will impact how people check in and out of training areas for outdoor recreation. At present, patrons must manually sign in and out at the Control Access Log Station on 111th Avenue. Michael Juhan, wildlife biologist with Fort Gordon Directorate of Public Works’ Natural Resources Branch, said iSportsman will eradicate that.

“People will go in the iSportsman system and they can see which areas are open,” Juhan said. “Assuming they have appropriate permits, they can check in to do whatever type of recreation they want to do.”

The community has until Aug. 1 to switch over to the online system, at which time iSportsman will completely take over. Patrons will also see a few changes to U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon Regulation 420-5, which governs hunting, fishing and training area recreation.

Although the system is new to Fort Gordon, the concept has been around for years, but the funds have not been until recently. iSportsman is primarily funded by U.S. Army Installation Command and Fort Gordon was one of 30 installations selected to incorporate it.

“It’s been something that has been requested for a long time and just now became feasible for us,” Juhan said.

And as far as Juhan is concerned, the benefits are worth it; especially with regards to checking in and out.

“This is a big place, so if someone is out there hunting 15 minutes away from the Control Access Log Station and he wants to change areas, he has to drive all the way up there, sign out of one area, sign back into another area, and then go back,” Juhan said. “Now all he’ll have to do is pull up his phone and switch areas within in a matter of 30 seconds.”

Juhan understands it may take time getting used to the system and may present challenges for some. But there is help.

“For the small percentage of people who may not have a smartphone, you can check in from home and go do what you want to do, then check out when you’re done and at home,” Juhan said.

There will also be a series of public meetings for anyone who wants to attend. The meetings will feature a brief tutorial and be an opportunity for people to ask questions.

Also, the iSportsman website has a wealth of information including a “FAQ” section that addresses what Juhan anticipates will be some of the most commonly asked questions and concerns.

Registration is not required to access the website and anybody can view the FAQ.

For more information and to register for iSportsman, go to https://ftgordon.isportsman.net.

Anyone with additional questions may call (706) 791- 9983/2397.

Public meetings for iSportsman

July 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Sportsman Club, Tactical Advantage Sportsman Complex, on Carter Road.

Aug. 16, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 188, Darling Hall.

Aug. 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 188, Darling Hall.

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