The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation has awarded $538,786 in Recreational Trail Program grants to benefit trail projects across the state in 2007.
The Recreational Trail Program is a federally funded competitive and reimbursable matching grant process that provides fund to develop and maintain recreational trails and facilities, acquire trail right-of-way, and develop safety and environmental protection education programs. Awards went to the following projects:
ALASKA HERITAGE TRAILS PROGRAM; Trail Easement Recording Project: This project will provide for a Natural Resource Specialist II to work on statewide trail issues identified as priorities through the Alaska Heritage Trails Program (AHTP). The program is intended to address the loss of legal access on recreational trails by adjudicating and locating easements to preserve the public's right to access. The project also is designed to assist grant applicants in completing their projects under the Recreational Trails and Snowmobile Trails programs. The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land & Water was awarded $72,854 for this project.
ALASKA WINTER/SUMMER OUTDOOR SAFETY EDUCATION PRESENTATIONS: This project will provide hands-on training in camping, hiking, glacier travel, skiing/snowboarding, snowmobiling, rafting, fishing and outdoor medical emergency education to Alaska children through the North American Outdoor Institute. The institute's goal is to provide multi-media, interactive winter and summer outdoor safety education programs to provide practical, useful information for recreation enthusiasts of all ages, and to offer such training free or at minimum cost primarily to children in grades four through 12. The program's outdoor educators are trained in avalanche awareness, winter and glacier travel, wilderness survival, camping, basic outdoor first aid, swift water rescue, wildlife avoidance and environmental impact. The North American Outdoor Institute was awarded $29,013 for this project.
NORTHERWEST ALASKA TRAIL STAKING: Grant funds will be used to maintain and restore markers on approximately 1,034 miles of existing winter trails connecting villages and communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough. The Northwest Arctic Borough was awarded $12,934 for this project.
TRAIL ETIQUETTE SIGNAGE: While the hundreds of miles of multi-use trails within the Fairbanks North Star Borough (NSB) invite broad and heavy use, this use has created conflicts among users. The NSB Trails Advisory Commission hopes to reduce this conflict using signs identifying who has the right-of-way. The project will fund purchase and installation of Trail Etiquette Signs on trail heads and trail intersections located on public lands and trail easements within the Borough. The Trails Advisory Commission was awarded $18,000 for this project.
CHICKADEE LOOP TRAIL: The Chickadee Loop Trail project will create interpretive materials for an existing half-kilometer nature trail on Creamer's Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks. In addition to two large interpretive signs, the grant will fund installation of numbered posts and design of a corresponding booklet emphasizing local bird species, their habitats, adaptations for northern climates and conservation. The project is a cooperative effort between the Alaska Bird Observatory, the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, and Fountainhead Development, Inc. The Alaska Bird Observatory was awarded $3,547 for this project.
CREAMER'S FIELD WINTER TRAILS GROOMING: This project will allow the Alaska Skijoring and Pulk Association (ASPA) to continue to groom winter multi-use trails in Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, and will improve trail conditions. The equipment obtained will enable ASPA to groom these trails for many years after the two-year grant period. ASPA was awarded $14,875 for this project.
PURCHASE 1990 BOMBARDUIER SNO-CAT: This project will provide matching funds to enable the Lake Louise Snowmachine Club to purchase a 1990 BR400 Bombardier Sno-Cat for grooming winter trails in and around the Lake Louise area. The Lake Louise Snowmachine Club was awarded $15,000 for this project.
BURGLIN 80-ACREA TRAIL EASEMENT PURCHASE AND RE-ROUTE: This project will purchase a new trail easement on the south and east sides of an 80-acre parcel approximately one mile from the Mushers Hall of the Alaska Dog Mushers Association inbound trail. The trail will be re-routed to this new easement, eliminating a new road crossing where Cliff Burglin has extended Browsing Avenue from Constitution Avenue into his property. The Alaska Dog Mushers Association was awarded $5,681 for this project.
AVALANCE AWARENESS AND HAZARD RECOGNITION: Grant funds will be used to offer classroom and field courses in avalanche hazard awareness and recognition to backcountry winter recreation enthusiasts. The Backcountry Avalanche Awareness and Response Team (B.A.A.R.T) was awarded $14,800 for this project.
HATCHER PASS LATRINES: Grant funds will be used to provide portable latrines in the Independence Bowl parking lot. Latrines are needed to support the high level of recreational use at this trailhead on the east side of Hatcher Pass in the Matanuska Susitna Borough. The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Mat-Su District was awarded $4,500 for this project.
MINI-EXCAVATOR WITH BOOM ATTACHED FLAIL MOWER: The Mat-Su Trails Council will use grant funds to purchase a mini-excavator with a boom attached flail mower for maintaining and rehabilitating trails in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The Borough has recorded and reserved over 2,000 miles of recreational trails, but does not have a long-term plan or equipment available to maintain this extensive set of trails. Mat-Su Trails Council, Inc. was awarded $50,000 for this project.
TRAPPER CREEK AND PETERSVILLE WINTER TRAIL GROOMING: Grant funds will be used to supplement funding of existing winter trail grooming in the Trapper Creek and Petersville communities. These trails include the Petersville Road, East-West Express, Chulitna Bluff trail (north), Safari Lake Trail and Kroto Link. A match will include grooming of the Bunco trail and northern portions of the Petersville Road not currently groomed. The Curry Ridge Riders were awarded $20,000 for this project.
GLACIER LAKE TRAIL RE-ROUTE: Due to the unsafe nature of the current trail, and the degradation of habitat and cultural resources due to braiding, grant funds will re-route the Glacier Lake Trail to a safer, sustainable route mapped by the River, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program through the National Parks Service. The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land & Water was awarded $15,822 for this project.
DENALI STATE PARK FLOOD DAMAGE REPAIR CREW: In August 2006, trails and structures in the Denali State Park and Montana Creek State Recreation Area were heavily damaged by floods. Grant funds will be used to pay a trail crew to rebuild damaged trails and structures at Little Coal Creek, Ermine Hill, Upper and Lower Troublesome Creek, Cascade Trail and the trail to the confluence of Montana Creek and the Susitna River. The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Mat-Su District was awarded $33,206 for this project.
MAT-VALLEY MOOSE RANGE TRAIL RESTORATION: Grant funds will be used to harden 800 linear feet of existing wetland trail leading up to and between two all-terrain vehicle (ATV) bridges being installed in the winter of 2006-2007 over Upper Wasilla Creek. Grant funds will be used to revegetate surrounding land surface damage by ATV activities and braided trails. The Wasilla Soil & Water Conservation District was awarded $27,909 for this project.
CHULITNA BLUFF & RABIDUEX TRAIL CONSTRUCTION: Grant funds will be used to construct a winter trail base along the Chulitna Bluff Trail (south) and the Rabiduex trail. Construction methods will include using heavy equipment to remove trees, stumps, brush and other obstacles to create a minimum 15-foot wide trail along the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s approved and GPS route. Primitive log bridges will be constructed in accordance to State and Borough methods. Grooming of the completed portions of trail will be performed during the winter months of this construction project. The Curry Ridge Riders were awarded $50,000 for this project.
TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS AND SIGNAGE IN THE HOMER DEMONSTRATION FOREST: This project will improve summertime access to the Homer Demonstration Forest through trail improvements and signage. It also will address trail degradation and erosion by providing a durable alternative to fragile winter trails currently used by summer traffic. The Homer Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $22,538 for this project.
TRAIL CREW LEADER, NANCY LAKE STATE RECREATION AREA: Grant funds will be used for a trail crew leader at Nancy Lake State Recreation Area to supervise a crew of volunteers. Grantees will match the grant funding over 70 percent by providing additional labor, supervision, transportation, and tools necessary to work on diversified recreation trails within the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area. Project areas will include the Lynx Lake Loop and the Red Shirt Lake Trail. The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Mat-Su District was awarded $10,566 for this project.
WINTER GROOMING & BRIDGE MAINTENANCE: This project will provide funding for winter trail grooming and bridge maintenance on the designated sled dog trails in Far North Bicentennial Park. These trails are on Municipality of Anchorage and U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands and are managed as non-motorized multi-use trails in the snow-free season. The Alaskan Sled Dog & Racing Association was awarded $11,365 for this project.
REFECTIONS LAKE TRAIL RENOVATION: Reflections Lake Trail Renovation is the first phase in an exciting four stage project to improve a world class recreation resource at the Knik River Access Exit for the Glenn Highway. This first stage will renovate the trail by removing brush from the trail corridor, grading and resurfacing the trail bed and adding a pedestrian and wheelchair-friendly vehicle gate. A rest stop with a bench will be added at a viewing vantage point and signs will be placed at the trailheads. Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge was awarded $16,522 for this project.
BYERS LAKE TRAIL MAINTENANCE & IMPROVEMENTS: Members of the Upper Susitna Youth Conservation Corps will perform maintenance and improvements on Byers Lake Trail at Denali State Park, including corridor widening, drainage and fill work, replacing boardwalk, and widening of tread. They will use the Alaska Trails, Inc. recommendations for sustainable trail work. The Upper Susitna Soil & Water Conservation District was awarded $20,816 for this project.
UPPER DEWEY LAKE TRAIL RESTORATION PHASE I: This project begins a multi-stage process of rebuilding the Upper Dewey Lake Trail as well as performing deferred maintenance. This trail is the crown jewel in Skagway's extensive trail system and requires extensive work to remedy the trail's poor original design and to fix years of use and erosion. These problems were exacerbated by the November 2005 storms that damaged significant parts of the trail and resulted in making the trail more difficult to use. The City of Skagway was awarded $18,852 for this project.
HOONAH COMMUNITY TRAILS: The Hoonah Community Trail Project will complete nearly a quarter-mile of non-motorized, diversified gravel trail around much of the Hoonah Harbor Park. Two access points will also be constructed to facilitate parking and trail entry for users of all abilities. The City of Hoonah was awarded $49,986 for this project.
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