News Releases

Last Update: April 17, 2015 line2

PARK OPENING DATES

Park Opening Dates

TRAIL REPORTS & PARK CONDITIONS

Chugach State Park - March 7

Chena River State Recreation Area - April 9

Denali State Park - April 17

Hatcher Pass East Mgmt. Area & Summit Lake SRS -
April 10

Kachemak Bay State Park - April 10

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area - April 9

Hatcher Pass Recreational Conflict Report

Chugach Trail Maps


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Seasonal trail restrictions planned for Chena River State Recreation Area

April 15, 2015 (Fairbanks, AK) – Effective April 20, the Compeau, Stiles, and Angel Creek Hillside trails in Chena River State Recreation Area will be closed to all trail uses except walking. To protect the state’s investment and sustain summer motorized use of these popular trails, it is necessary to allow the trails to thaw and the water to disperse without disturbance. The trails will reopen on Thursday, May 21, in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Other trails that are seasonally closed in the recreation area are the South Fork, Colorado Creek, and Angel Creek Valley Trails. These are winter-only trails and open to snow machine use from October 15 to April 20.

Thanks to a recreational trail grant in 2014 these trails now have locking gates at the trailheads which will be locked and signed during trail closures.

Alaska State Parks is reluctant to restrict any uses unless there are no other viable management alternatives. In this case, the benefits of protecting the usefulness of these trails outweigh the inconveniences of seasonal restrictions. We urge trail users to respect the integrity of the trails so others may continue to enjoy them. Violations may be reported to the State Parks office at 451-2695 or during evenings and weekends, call Alaska State Troopers and they will contact the park enforcement team.

CONTACT:
Brooks Ludwig, 907-551-2698, or by e-mail at brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov


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State Seeking Contractor to Operate Finger Lake State Recreation Area

April 9, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) – The State of Alaska, Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for a qualified entity to obtain an exclusive competitive permit for commercial activities to operate park facilities at Finger Lake State Recreation Site. Finger Lake State Recreation Site is located at Mile 0.7 Bogard Road in Wasilla. The site offers a quiet retreat with 24 campsites, 2 group campsites, 25 picnic sites, water, toilets, and a boat launch.

A copy of the bid packet and permit application is available on line through the following link:
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/fingerlakestsrfp15.pdf

and at the following Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation offices:

- 550 W. 7th Ave. Suite 1380, Anchorage (Atwood Building)
- MatSu/Copper Basin Area state parks office located at 7278 East Bogard Road, Wasilla, AK 99654 (next to the Finger Lake State Recreation Site)

Proposals must be received at the MatSu/Copper Basin Area office no later than Friday, April 24, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

CONTACT:
Jamie Walker at 907-269-8703, or by e-mail at jamie.walker@alaska.gov


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State Seeking Contractor to Operate Lake Louise State Recreation Area

April 8, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) – The State of Alaska, Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for a qualified entity to obtain an exclusive competitive permit for commercial activities to operate park facilities at Lake Louise State Recreation Area. Lake Louise State Recreation Area is located at Mile 16 on the Lake Louise Road, which heads north off the Glenn Highway at Mile 160, about 28 miles west of Glennallen. The park has two campgrounds (Lake Louise Campground and Army Point Campground), a picnic shelter and a boat launch.

A copy of the bid packet and permit application is available on line through the following link:
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/rfplakelouise.pdf

and at the following Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation offices:

- 550 W. 7th Ave. Suite 1380, Anchorage (Atwood Building)
- MatSu/Copper Basin Area state parks office located at 7278 East Bogard Road, Wasilla, AK 99654 (next to the Finger Lake State Recreation Site)

Proposals must be received at the MatSu/Copper Basin Area office no later than Tuesday, April 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

CONTACT:
Claire LeClair at 907-269-8702, or by e-mail at claire.leclair@alaska.gov


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Nancy Lake State Recreation Area closed to snowmobile use

March 26, 2015 (Willow, AK) – Due to deteriorated snow conditions, including large areas of bare ground, Nancy Lake State Recreation Area will be closed to the use of snowmobiles effective Friday, March 27. This closure includes that portion of the East Side Butterfly Lake Swamp trail located within the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and the East Red Shirt Lake trail.

CONTACT: Andrew McElvain, District Ranger, 907-495-6210, andrew.mcelvain@alaska.gov, or Claire Holland LeClair, Deputy Director, 907-269-8702, claire.leclair@alaska.gov


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Public encouraged to nominate poems celebrating Alaska's state parks

March 16, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) – For the third and final year of the statewide Poems in Place Project, Alaskans are invited to submit poems for installation on permanent signs in two state parks in coastal Southcentral Alaska.

The goal of the Poems in Place Project is to install poems that celebrate Alaska’s natural environment on permanent signs in state parks throughout Alaska. The project is led by Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Center for the Book and a steering committee of Alaska writers and poets, with support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Usibelli Foundation, the Alaska Poetry League, and numerous generous individuals.

Individuals may submit up to three poems each for installation at Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park on Kodiak Island and Caines Head State Recreation Area near Seward. The poems can be written in response to the solicitation or previously written by an Alaskan poet. The deadline for submissions is March 31.

The project began in 2011 when the poem “What Whales and Infants Know” by the late Kim Cornwall was installed at Beluga Point in Chugach State Park. In 2013, poems by Alaskan writers Ernestine Hayes and Emily Wall were installed at Totem Bight State Historical Park near Ketchikan, and poems by Frank Soos and the late John Haines were installed at Chena River State Recreation Area near Fairbanks. In 2014, poems by Tom Sexton and Tim Troll were installed at Independence Mine State Historical Park and Aleknagik State Recreation Site, respectively.

For submission rules, go to http://www.alaskacenterforthebook.org/poetry-in-place/poems-in-place-2015-rules-and-guidelines/. A $150 honorarium will be paid to the winning poet for each poem selected for installation. For more information and to see photos, go to http://www.alaskacenterforthebook.org/poems-in-place-2015-invitation/.

CONTACT:
Claire LeClair at 907-269-8702, or by e-mail at claire.leclair@alaska.gov


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Artist-in-residence program begins at Ernest Gruening State Historical Park

March 12, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska State Parks is seeking artists to apply for its first-ever Artist-In-Residence Program to be held this summer at the Ernest Gruening State Historical Park located 25 miles north of Juneau.

The purpose of the new artist-in-residence program is to encourage artists to create work inspired by Alaska’s state parks. It also will offer visitors and the general public an opportunity to see state parks through the eyes and ears of contributing artists.

During this summer’s program, which runs from June through August, successful applicants will have an opportunity to stay for up to two weeks at the scenic and historic Ernest Gruening Cabin. The cabin is nestled along the coastline of Amalga harbor. The cabin was the territorial governor’s summer retreat and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The deadline to submit applications for the program is April 10. Artists will be asked to donate an original piece of artwork inspired by their time at the cabin and will be required to host a community workshop or presentation during the residency. Travel to Juneau and transportation to the cabin will be the artist’s responsibility.

The Ernest Gruening State Historical Park is located approximately 27 miles north of downtown Juneau and the cabin is a major feature of the 13-acre park, which provides spectacular views of Lynn Canal and the Peterson Creek Salt Chuck, as well as fishing and wildlife-watching opportunities. Gruening wrote much of his manifesto for statehood in 1953 at the cabin, where he and his family entertained national and foreign leaders at the cabin.

For more information and to request a copy of the artist-in-residency application, please contact David Griffin at 907-269-8696, by e-mail at david.griffin@alaska.gov, or visit www.alaskastateparks.org.

CONTACT: David Griffin, 907-269-8696, david.griffin@alaska.gov.



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Hatcher Pass – East side fully open to snowmachines

March 10, 2015 (Palmer, AK) – The winter storm over the weekend has allowed the full opening of Hatcher Pass – East side to snowmachine use, but all recreationists are advised to use extreme caution due to the unstable snowpack.

The opening includes all areas normally open to snowmobiles. Park staff has determined that sufficient snow cover now exists to protect underlying vegetation in the area.

Heavy snow and high winds have resulted in an unstable snowpack that has resulted in numerous avalanches being triggered by recreationists and at least two partial burials have occurred. Extreme caution is advised with all backcountry travel in Hatcher Pass. Snow condition reports are updated frequently at the Alaska State Park’s website.

Remember, all snowmachines must be registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles to legally operate on public land.

CONTACT:
Wayne Biessel, Park Superintendent, 907-745-8935, wayne.biessel@alaska.gov


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Alaska State Parks increases fees

(Anchorage, AK) – Fees for overnight camping and boat launching and the cost of annual passes for parking and boat launching at Alaska state park facilities will increase on Jan. 1, 2015.

An updated list of state park fees and passes is at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/alaskastateparkfees.pdf. Annual passes for the 2015 calendar year are available for purchase at https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/Passes.cfm and will be sold at current prices through Dec. 31, 2014.

The fee increases are authorized under state park regulations and are part of an ongoing effort to make the operation and maintenance of the state park system more self-sustaining. For example, the cost of an annual parking pass hasn’t changed since 2004, a period in which Alaska State Parks’ operational costs increased more than 20 percent.

While the $5 daily fee for parking at developed areas, such as trailheads, will not increase, the cost of an annual parking pass will increase from $40 to $50 and the cost of a second pass sold to the same family will increase from $20 to $25. The cost of an annual boat launch pass, which has been $75 since 1997, will increase to $100 and the cost of a second pass for the same family will increase from $40 to $50.

The daily fees for overnight camping and boat launching vary by location. The new fees range from $10 to $30, generally representing a $5 increase.

CONTACT: jamie.walker@alaska.gov, Jamie Walker, 907-269-8703


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Alaska Boating Safely Handbook available

Anchorage, Alaska - The new addition of the Alaska Boater's Handbook is available online through the Alaska Office of Boating Safety Office or at the Department of Natural Resources Public Information centers in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

In a state where capsizing and falls overboard into cold water continues to account for the majority of boating deaths, the handbook provides practical and relevant information for Alaska's boaters on legal requirements, safe practices and how to prepare for, avoid, and survive a cold water immersion event. In addition to the two Public Information centers, copies of the handbook are available online at www.alaskaboatingsafety.org or by contacting the Alaska Office of Boating Safety at (907) 269-8706.

The Alaska Office of Boating Safety reminds boaters that by practicing the following safety points they can help ensure everyone has a safe and memorable adventure on the water.

  •  Wearing a life jacket is KEY to surviving a cold water immersion event. ALWAYS wear a life jacket when in an

      open boat or on an open deck

  •  Carrying both communication and signaling devices on your person

  •  Completing a thorough pre-departure check before each trip

  •  Taking boating courses

  •  Avoiding alcohol when boating

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