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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Chilkoot Lake SRS: Road Corridor Improvements

Background

The Chilkoot River corridor near Haines is an area rich in cultural history and archaeological sites and is a popular salmon sport fishery and bear viewing area. Land along the corridor is within the Haines State Forest boundary and is managed by DNR Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation (DPOR). The Chilkoot Lake Road runs parallel to the Chilkoot River for approximately one mile to Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site that provides camping, a day-use area, and boat launch. The Department of Fish and Game maintains a salmon counting weir on the Chilkoot River. Visitors to the area use the road adjacent to the river to watch bears, sport fish or access Chilkoot Lake for hunting, trapping and other recreation. There are few existing areas along the road that are wide enough for fishermen and visitors to park and access the river. The large numbers of visitors and commercial tour operators going 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 and human interactions as well as user conflicts.

In November of 2011 representatives from the Alaska Department 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 and 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 30, 2013 to discuss Chilkoot River corridor improvements and management. The Division learned from the input received at the workshops and would like to thank everyone who attended.

Chilkoot River CabinThe 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 issues surrounding work on the Chilkoot River corridor and these improvements were identified as a management recommendation by the involved agencies. Implementing the improvements along the Chilkoot River and Chilkoot Lake Road will allow safe access separating humans and bears for controlled viewing, designated parking areas, and improved access to the boat launch and harvest sites for hunters and trappers, while facilitating emergency vehicle access and protection of cultural resources.

 

Final Site Plan and Issue Response Summary from Public Comments Received

Chilkoot River Marker Based on feedback from the public workshops, DPOR developed the Master Site Development Plan. Below you will find the Final Site Plan and Issue Response Summary summarizing the comments received and agency responses. 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 Lake Road / Chilkoot River Corridor

Ownership of Chilkoot Lake Road was officially transferred from the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to the Department of Natural Resources, under the management of Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation in 2016.

On August 21, 2018, the Division received a grant from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program (Pittman-Robertson Act) to improve the road. The nearly $1.5M grant will help augment the initial 2011 CIP to include parking improvement, resurface the road, improve drainage and boat launch access, as well as address the pedestrian and bear viewing improvements identified in the Final Site Plan.

Construction Updates

The project was bid and awarded to Glacier Construction dba Southeast Roadbuilders. Construction began in early September of 2020 and we urge caution when visiting the site. Access to the project site will be limited.

Road Closure: September 1, 2020 – April 1, 2021
Except for local residents, authorized personnel, and hunters before 7:00am and after 5:30pm from September 15 to November 15, 2020.

Current Construction Schedule
Mobilization and Setup September 2020
Removal/Grind Pavement/ September 2020
Culvert Pipes September 2020
Fill operations September – October 2020
Tentative Winter Shutdown October 1, 2020 – April 20, 2021
Roadway will be left open as a gravel driving surface and it will not be maintained throughout the winter shutdown.
Bear Viewing areas April 2021
Paving May 2021
Final project items April – May 2021
Project Completion May 31, 2021

As the Chilkoot Lake area has cultural resources present, both an archeological and tribal monitor were present during onsite ground disturbing activity. There were no cultural resources or human remains discovered during construction activity.

Public notices will be provided on a regular basis through the duration of the project and updates will be reflected on this website.

wildlife Restoration deer logo The construction project is funded through a United States Fish and Wildlife Service grant, which is administrated through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This Federal Aid is part of the Wildlife Restoration Program made possible by the Pittman-Robertson Act and is funded by taxes on the purchase of firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment.

Documents and Additional Information

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
Hunter Access Grant Program Overview
Hunter Access Program - Chilkoot Lake Road Project Page
Advertised Plans and Specifications

For more information, to get added to the project mailing list, or to comment contact:

Danielle Ryder
550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1340
Anchorage, AK 99501
Email: danielle.ryder@alaska.gov
Phone: (907) 269-8744
Fax: (907) 269-8917

For traffic or access concerns please contact:
Chevy Fowler

Project Traffic Control Supervisor
Southeast Roadbuilders
Email: cfowler@colaska.com
Phone: (907) 766-2833
Cell: (907) 314-0354

Dakota LaFramboise
Project Engineer
Department of Natural Resources – Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Email: dakota.laframboise@alaska.gov
Phone: (907) 269-8745
Cell: (907) 748-7647

Traffic Project Hotline
Phone: (907) 314-0680

For questions on area management and facility use:
Preston Kroes

Southeast Area Superintendent
Department of Natural Resources – Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Email: preston.kroes@alaska.gov
Phone: (907)465-4563

Mission Statement

"The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people."

Accessibility Notice

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Atwood Building
550 West 7th Avenue
Suite 1380
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-8700
Fax: (907) 269-8907