Park Condition Reports

Last Update: April 29, 2016line2
 

PARK OPENING DATES

Park Opening Dates

TRAIL REPORTS & PARK CONDITIONS

Chugach State Park - March 10

Chena River State Recreation Area - April 1

Denali State Park - April 28

Hatcher Pass East Mgmt. Area & Summit Lake SRS -
April 28

Kachemak Bay State Park - August 28

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area - April 28

Hatcher Pass Recreational Conflict Report

News Releases

Seasonal trail restrictions planned for Chena River State Recreation Area

April 13, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) - On Monday, April 18, the Angel Creek Valley, Angel Creek Hillside, Compeau, Stiles, Colorado Creek, East Fork, Yukon Quest Winter, and South Fork trails in the Chena River State Recreation Area will close to all uses except walking. These closures will allow the trails to thaw and water to disperse without disturbance.

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 state-maintained trails from degradation outweigh the inconveniences of seasonal restrictions.

The Angel Creek Hillside, Compeau and Stiles trails will reopen May 26 or sooner depending on conditions. The South Fork, Colorado Creek, East Fork, Yukon Quest Winter and Angel Creek Valley Trails are winter trails and will remain closed to motorized use during the summer. By design, winter trails cannot sustain use during unfrozen periods. After adequate snowpack is reached, the winter trails as well as all other motorized areas of the Chena River Recreation Area will be reopened to snowmachine use by director’s designation.

Gates at the trailheads will be locked and posted with signs during the trail closures. Alaska State Parks encourages trail users to respect the integrity of the trails so others may continue to enjoy them. It is illegal to tamper with or attempt to drive around locked gates.

Violations of the trail closures can be reported to Alaska State Parks during business hours at 451-2695. On evenings and weekends, contact Alaska State Troopers and they will contact Alaska State Park rangers.

CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov, (907) 451-2698


National Park Service to continue maintaining Sitka state historical parks

March 22, 2016 (Sitka, AK) - The National Park Service and the state Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation have entered into a cooperative management agreement for the Sitka National Historical Park to provide grounds maintenance and litter removal at the state-owned Baranof Castle State Historical Site and Old Sitka State Historical Park.

Due to FY 2016 and proposed FY 2017 budget reductions, no state funding is available to operate any of the Sitka area state parks. Because of the historical link between the Sitka National Historical Park and these two state historical parks, the Park Service has agreed to maintain these two popular areas for the use and enjoyment of residents and visitors through the end of October 2016. Last year, the Park Service maintained the two parks under a similar agreement.

“It is critical to provide a safe and clean environment for visitors at the core historic sites around Sitka during the summer season, and we are happy to help the State of Alaska park system during these times of severely constrained budgets,” said interim National Park Superintendent Wayne Challoner.

“We are thrilled that these facilities will be maintained for another season and we are grateful to the National Park Service for supporting Alaska state parks and the community of Sitka,” said Mike Eberhardt, Southeast Area State Park Superintendent.

CONTACT: Mike Eberhardt, mike.eberhardt@alaska.gov, (907) 465-2481
NPS CONTACT: Becky Latanich, Becky_Latanich@nps.gov, (907) 747-0132


State seeks operator for Porcupine Creek State Recreation Site

March 16, 2016 (Wasilla, AK) - The Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for eligible applicants to submit proposals for the operation of the Porcupine Creek State Recreation Site under an exclusive commercial-use permit. Operations will include maintaining the facility along with collecting camping and other fees. The permit will have an initial two-year term, renewable for an additional five years by mutual agreement.

The Porcupine Creek State Recreation Site is located near Milepost 64 of the Tok Cutoff near Nabesna.  The park includes 12 campsites, 2 vaulted restrooms, fee station, hand-pump well, bulletin board and fireplaces.  The park has been managed under a competitive commercial use permit since 1999.  There is no electricity, running water or public telephones at the site.

Copies of the proposal packet and permit application are available at the Mat-Su/Copper Basin Area Office located at 7278 East Bogard Road in Wasilla and at the Directors Office at 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1380 in Anchorage or on the web at 
http://dnr.alaska.gov/Assets/DNRPublic/parks/misc/rfpcomporccreek2016.pdf.

Proposals must be received at the Mat-Su/Copper River Basin Office no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, April 11.

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


State seeks operator for Twin Bears Camp in Chena River State Recreation Area

March 7, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) - The Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for eligible applicants to submit proposals for the operation of Twin Bears Camp under an exclusive commercial-use permit. Operations will include marketing, reservation, and maintenance services. The permit will have an initial five-year term, renewable for an additional ten years by mutual agreement.

The Twin Bears Camp is located adjacent to Twin Bears Lake in the Chena River State Recreation Area at mile 30 of the Chena Hot Springs Road. The camp includes 13 bunk houses, a dining and recreation hall, a caretaker cabin, and other facilities. It was developed in the 1980s to house and support youth working for the Alaska Conservation Corps program. After it was no longer needed to support the ACC program it was made available to reserve for group events such as family reunions and club meetings.

Copies of the proposal packet and permit application are available at the Northern Area Office located at 3700 Airport Way in Fairbanks and at the Directors Office at 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1380 in Anchorage or on the web at
http://dnr.alaska.gov/Assets/DNRPublic/parks/misc/rfpcomoptwin2016.pdf.

Proposals must be received at the Fairbanks Parks Office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30.

CONTACT:
Brooks Ludwig, 907-451-2698, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov

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Contractor sought to operate Valdez area state park facilities

February 17, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) - The Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for eligible applicants to submit proposals for obtaining a permit to operate park facilities in Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site, Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site, Mineral Creek State Recreation Site and/or Shoup Bay State Marine Park.

The bid packet and permit application is posted at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/rfpcomopvaldez2016.pdf or can be obtained by visiting the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area office at 35931 Lou Morgan Road in Sterling and the Director’s office in Anchorage, in Suite 1380 of the Atwood building, located at 550 W. 7th Ave.

Proposals must be received at the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area office no later than Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 5 p.m.

CONTACT:
Claire Holland LeClair, 907-269-8702, claire.leclair@alaska.gov
or Jamie Walker, 907-269-8703, jamie.walker@alaska.gov

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New fees go into effect for Kodiak area state parks starting March 1

February 4, 2016 (Kodiak, AK) - Effective March 1, Alaska State Parks will implement a $5 per vehicle day-use fee at Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park and Buskin River State Recreation Site. Starting May 1, the day-use fee will be instituted at Pasagshak River State Recreation Site along with an overnight camping fee of $15 per night for up to eight people per site. The $5 fee can be paid at one of the self-serve payment stations.

The day-use parking fee program for Alaska state parks began in 1994 and has been implemented at most road-accessible access points and trailheads, but until now, day-use fees have not been charged at the Kodiak area state parks. In lieu of paying the $5 per vehicle per day fee, visitors may purchase a $50 annual decal with an option to purchase a second decal for $25 for an additional vehicle registered at the same residence. These decals may be used at any state park unit in Alaska. Decals can be purchased at the state park office at Fort Abercrombie, the Anchorage and Fairbanks DNR Public Information Centers (via mail or e-mail), or online at
https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/Passes.cfm.

Alaska State Parks has scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Kodiak state park district office at Fort Abercrombie to provide information about the new fees and answer questions. Annual decals will be available for purchase after the meeting.

Summary of new fees:
March 1, 2016 – Fort Abercrombie and Buskin River park units - $5 per vehicle day-use fee, or annual decal
May 1, 2016 – Pasagshak River - $5 per vehicle day-use or annual decal; $15 per site overnight camping fee

CONTACT:
Kodiak District Ranger Preston Kroes, 907-486-6339, preston.kroes@alaska.gov

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Ketchikan State Parks Citizen Advisory Board recruiting new members

January 27, 2016 (Ketchikan, AK) - Applications are currently being accepted for three vacancies on the nine-member Ketchikan State Parks Citizen Advisory Board for the term beginning in mid-February.

The board advises the Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation on matters affecting state parks in the Ketchikan area, promotes protection of the area state parks’ natural and cultural resources, and facilitates communication between the public and park managers. Board meetings are held monthly, September through May. Members are expected to occasionally serve on board-appointed committees in addition to attending the monthly meetings, and they serve staggered three-year terms so that seats open each year.

To apply for a position on the board, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/boards.htm to download the application form. Applications are due Feb. 8 and should be sent to Ketchikan District Park Ranger Mary Kowalczyk at mary.kowalczyk@alaska.gov or mailed to her at Alaska State Parks, 9883 N. Tongass Highway, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901.

The board is selected to represent the broad spectrum of public interests involved with or affected by the area parks. The nomination process is designed to ensure that no single viewpoint dominates the board. The bylaws call upon each board member to represent the broad public interest rather than advocate on behalf of one specific group.

State parks in the Ketchikan area include Settlers Cove State Recreation Site, Totem Bight State Historical Site, Refuge Cove State Recreation Site, Grindall Island State Marine Park & public use cabin, Black Sands Beach/Blank Islands, Grant Island/Joe Island, and Betton Island State Marine Parks. Park advisory boards help park managers understand community priorities for these popular destination parks.

CONTACT:
Mary Kowalczyk, Ketchikan District Park Ranger, 907-247-8574, mary.kowalczyk@alaska.gov

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Alaska Historical Commission to meet Feb. 23 in Anchorage

January 25, 2016 (Soldotna, AK) - The Alaska Historical Commission will meet in Anchorage and via teleconference on Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in Suite 102 of the Atwood Building, located at 550 West 7th Ave.

The commission will review proposals for projects to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Treaty of Cession.   A preliminary agenda is posted at www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/oha/index.htm.

Any person or group wishing to address the commission on matters relating to history, archaeology or historic preservation is invited to participate in the public comment session starting at 9:30 a.m. To comment by phone, arrangements must be made in advance by calling 907-269-8714.

A printed copy of the meeting agenda can be requested by calling 907-269-8721, emailing oha@alaska.net, or writing to the Office of History and Archaeology, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1310, Anchorage, AK 99501-3565.

The Alaska Historical Commission is the state board responsible for the state’s historic preservation program and coordinating the program for naming geographic features in Alaska. More information about the commission is available at www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/oha/index.htm

CONTACT:
Joan Antonson, 907-269-8714, jo.antonson@alaska.gov

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Kenai River state park advisory board recruiting members

January 14, 2016 (Soldotna, AK) - Applications are currently being accepted for three upcoming vacancies on the Kenai River Special Management Area Citizens Advisory Board.

This state park advisory board provides state park managers with recommendations on the management of the Kenai River SMA. The people selected will serve from July 2016 through June 2019 and the board typically meets once a month between September and May.

To apply for a position on this advisory board, go to www.alaskastateparks.org. Applications are being accepted through March 31.

For more information, please contact the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area state park office at 907-262-5581.

CONTACT:
Jack Blackwell, Park Superintendent, 907- 262-5581, ext 21, jack.blackwell.gov

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Trails advisory board to meet Jan. 6-7 in Anchorage

December 28, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) - The Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board will meet Jan. 6-7 in Anchorage to consider grant applications. The public is welcome to attend the meeting which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days in Suite 1270 of the Atwood Building, located at 550 West 7th Ave in Anchorage.

During the meeting, the ORTAB will evaluate grant proposals for the Recreational Trails Program. The board will provide recommendations to the Director of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, who will make decisions on funding for those applications.

To join the meeting via toll-free teleconference, please dial 866-918-8374, conference code 5569714090. Contact Darcy Harris at 907-269-8699 or darcy.harris@alaska.gov for more information. For special accommodations, auxiliary aid or services, and/or an alternative communication format to participate in this meeting, please contact Darcy at least two days in advance of the meeting to make the necessary arrangements.

For more information on the Recreational Trails Program, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/trails.htm

CONTACT:
Darcy Harris at 907-269-8699 or darcy.harris@alaska.gov

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Alaska State Parks hosts First Day outdoor events in Homer and Delta Junction

December 23, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) - Alaska State Parks is encouraging Alaskans to celebrate the New Year by enjoying the great outdoors in their local state parks. Area state park staff and local groups are hosting two free, guided hikes, in Delta Junction and Homer, as well as a guided paddling excursion in Kachemak Bay State Park. The events listed below are part of the First Day Hike initiative sponsored by state park systems throughout the United States.

1.5-mile roundtrip hike, ski or snowshoe in the Quartz Lake State Recreation Area
Date/time: Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Location: Meet at the Glatfelder Trailhead. The Quartz Lake State Recreation Area is ten miles north of Delta Junction and is reached by a three-mile road at mile 277.8 of the Richardson Hwy. Follow the signs to the boat ramp and park in the parking lot adjacent to the GlatfelderTrailhead. From there we will ski, hike, or snowshoe to the historic Glatfelder log cabin.
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age for children: All ages
Restrictions: None
Things to bring: water, a snack to share, snowshoes/skis/ warm hiking boots and clothing (as appropriate)
Cancellation information: 907-415-2698

3-mile roundtrip hike, ski or snowshoe in the Eveline State Recreation Area:
Date/time: Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Location: Meet at the Eveline State Recreation Area parking lot. Take East End Road for 13.8 miles past the McNeil Canyon School, take the left onto Alpine Meadow Drive and go .3 miles to the trailhead.
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum Age for Children: All ages
Restrictions: Please leave your dogs at home for this hike.
Things to bring: Skis/Snowshoes/warm hiking boots (depending on conditions).
Cancellation Information: 907-235-7042

1-mile Kachemak Bay State Park: Water Trail:
Date/time: Jan. 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Meet at the start of the Water Trail on the Homer Spit at "The Rock," next to the fishing pond.
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum Age for Children: 15
Restrictions: Please leave your dogs at home.
Things to bring: kayak and paddle, life jacket, snacks, water, weather appropriate gear.
Cancellation Information: 907-491-1355

For more information about the First Day Hike initiative, go to
http://www.naspd.org/initiatives-special-programs/first-day-hikes/.

CONTACT:
Mario Ayerdis, 907-269-8708, mario.ayerdis@alaska.gov

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Grants available for Alaska Treaty of Cession projects

December 11, 2015 (Anchorage, AK) - The Alaska Historical Commission is seeking matching grant proposals to plan and prepare for the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Treaty of Cession in 2017. The grants are available for projects that will contribute to understanding the history and significance of the event. Proposals are encouraged for historic research and publication projects, restoration of significant historic properties, community projects and programs, heritage tourism development, planning and public education projects.

A total of $125,000 is available. A grant request may not exceed $15,000 and must be matched one-to-one. Projects are to be done between April 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. Applications must be postmarked, e-mailed, or delivered by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 2016.

Additional information and the application are available at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha/index.htm. Or call 907-269-8714, e-mail oha@alaska.net, or write to the Alaska Historical Commission, 550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1310, Anchorage, AK 99501-3565.

CONTACT:
Joan (Jo) Antonson, 907-269-8714, jo.antonson@alaska.gov

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Northern Area State Parks Citizen Advisory Board seeks new members

December 9, 2015 (Fairbanks, AK) - Alaska State Parks is recruiting to fill several positions on the Northern Area State Parks Citizen Advisory Board. Each member’s term is three years with an option to renew. Board members are recruited from the community at large to represent the various recreational, historical, and cultural resource interests in a balanced manner for the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

The advisory board fills an important role of communication between Alaska State Parks and the public. Most recently, the board considered issues including the proposed Stampede State Recreation Area near Healy, the Mastodon Trail in Chena River State Recreation Area, and year-round maintenance of bathrooms at highway rest stops. This year the board issued letters of support for funding through the Federal Recreation Trails Program, the Pittman Robertson Act, and capital improvement projects in the northern area. Each fall the board hosts a briefing for the Interior legislative delegation.

Board meetings are held September through May on the second Wednesday of each month at the Alaska Department of Natural Resources office, located at 3700 Airport Way in Fairbanks. The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 13. Members from outlying areas can attend meetings by teleconference. The board welcomes the public to attend their monthly meetings.

Applications are available at the state parks office at 3700 Airport Way or online at www.alaskastateparks.org.

CONTACT:
Brooks Ludwig, (907) 451-2698, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov

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