The Chilkoot River corridor near Haines is an area rich is cultural history and archaeological sites and is a popular salmon sports fishery and bear viewing area. Lands along the corridor are within the Haines State Forest boundary and the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities manages the road right-of-way within the corridor. The Chilkoot River Road runs parallel to the Chilkoot River for just under one mile to Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site that provides camping, a day-use area, and a boat launch. Lands adjacent to the Chilkoot River Road and the Recreation Site itself are managed by the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. The Department of Fish and Game maintains a weir on the river. Visitors to the area use the road adjacent to the river to watch bears, fish or access Chilkoot Lake. There are only a few areas existing along the road that are wide enough for fishermen and visitors to park and access the river. The large numbers of visitors to the area has led to concerns related to the degradation of the biological, cultural, and aesthetic resources of the area as well as safety concerns related to bear/human interactions and user conflicts.
In November of 2011 representatives from the Alaska Departments of Natural Resources, Fish and Game and Transportation and Public Facilities met to discuss Chilkoot River corridor management. The focus of the discussion was on solutions that would reduce the potential for bear/human conflicts in the area and ways to address other recreation management issues. The agencies identified various issues related to corridor management and recommended both short and long-term solutions.
The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation hosted a public workshop in Haines on April 17, 2012 and April 30th, 2013 to discuss Chilkoot River corridor improvements and management. We learned a quite a bit from the input received at the workshop and would like to thank everyone who attended.
The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation received capital improvement funds in 2011 to establish a bear viewing facility along the river. The Division is sensitive to the various Chilkoot River corridor issues that need to be addressed and this facility has been identified as one of the short-term management recommendation by the various agencies. Developing a facility that parallels the Chilkoot River and Chilkoot River Road will allow safe access separating humans and bears for controlled viewing. Additional parking in the area will improve access to fishing and bear viewing, will facilitate emergency vehicle access and will reduce cultural resource damage.
The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation would like to thank all those who provided comments regarding the Master Site Development Plan. Below you will find the Final Site Plan and Issue Response Summary summarizing the comments received and an agency’s response to each. The comments and feedback provided throughout the public process have been essential in guiding the development of the Chilkoot River Corridor. Many thanks to all those who participated in the process.
Chilkoot River Corridor FINAL Site Plan
Chilkoot River Corridor - Issue Response Summary - Feb. 18, 2014
Chilkoot River Location Map Overview Map
Report on the Chilkoot River Corridor Strategic Planning Project
Management Solutions - Short Term Solutions
Management Solutions - Long Term Solutions
For more information, to get added to the project mailing list, or to comment contact:
550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1340
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-8736
Fax: (907) 269-8917