Kenai River Ranch, Kenai River Special Management Area (KRSMA)

Project Description

This project will begin the process of planning and development of the Kenai River Ranch for potential public access improvements along the Kenai River. Options include day use, camping, boating access, and riverbank fishing access. The Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan recommends this parcel for recreation development as it recognizes there is limited developed public access along the south side of the Kenai River from near the Soldotna Airport to the end of Funny River Road, a distance of approximately 22 miles.

This property was purchased by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council (EVOS) and is co-managed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation (DPOR). State management is subject to a Conservation Easement, which limits or restricts most land disturbing activities on the site unless DPOR and ADF&G determine such activities to be necessary for conservation research or management of the property. The previous owners currently live on the property and serve as caretakers.

Kenai River Ranch Fall 2014

Project Location


Mile 12 Funny River Road, Kenai River Mile 32 (See Project Area Map)

Summary of the Planning Process

- Timeline to Date

January 13, 2015 the written comment period for the scoping phase begins.

January 2015 - Scoping Workshop

   - January 20, 2015 7:00pm – 8:30pm Kenai River Center, Soldotna
- January 21, 2015 7:00pm – 8:30pm Atwood Conference Center, Anchorage

February 10, 2015 the written comment period for the scoping phase ends.

August 25, 2015 Concepts posted to project webpage, comment period for concepts begin.

September 2015 – Concept Review Open House

- September 8, 2015 7:00pm – 8:30pm Atwood Conference Center, Anchorage
- September 9, 2015 7:00pm – 8:30pm Kenai River Center, Soldotna

September 25, 2015 the written comment period for the concept phase ends.

February 25, 2016 Master Concept Plan is finalized.

Kenai River Ranch Fall 2014

Latest News

Both agencies: ADF&G and DPOR would like to thank the public for participating in submitting written comments and being a part of the public process for the concept development of the Kenai River Ranch. Through this process our planning team was able to understand what improvements visitors would like to see at the Kenai River Ranch, KRSMA while complying with the Conservation Easement. The preferred concept was Concept One: the Hansen House will remain for a caretaker, no new facilities are proposed. The fishing regulations will remain in place and an active restoration of the riparian habitat will benefit the river as well as cleaning up the site. There are currently no funds allocated for the implementation of the plan.

Project Goals and Boundary Conditions

- Adhere to the EVOS Conservation Easement as outlined in Attachment C
- Maintain fishing closures as described in ADF&G Riparian Habitat Bank Closure Regulations
- Provide fully accessible program meeting all ADA and barrier free requirements.

Approved Final Master Concept Plan (.pdf)

Pulbic Process and Scoping Comments

Between January 13, 2015 and September 25, 2015, the Department of Natural Resources and Fish and Game accepted written comments as part of the initial scoping and concept development phase for the planning of the Kenai River Ranch. Names are listed only where the name of the individual or organization was expressly stated within the body of the comment. The planning team would like to thank those that took time to submit written comments. The following is a compilation of the public comments submitted.

Feb. - Public Scoping Comments - Kenai River Ranch(.pdf)
Sept. - Public Concept Review Comments - Kenai River Ranch(.pdf)

Steps to this Planning Process

Below is an outline of the major steps that will be taken to develop a Master Development Plan.

STEP 1: Identify Issues – Through a public involvement process identify issues and concerns.

STEP 2: Gather Information – Collect information about natural resources, present and past land use

STEP 3: Prepare Draft Concept Plan – Create a draft concept plan based on the public comments and gathered resource information.

STEP 4: Public Review of Draft Concept Plan- Hold public open house to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the draft plan and to identify parts of the plan that need to be changed.

STEP 5: Prepare Final Master Concept Plan- Review agency and public comments and revise the site plan as needed.

STEP 6: Approve Final Master Concept Plan – Both Alaska State Parks Director and Alaska Department of Fish and Game Leadership Team review and approves the Final Master Concept Plan.

STEP 7: Adopt and Implement Plan – The site plan provides a framework for acquiring funding to implement the plan.

Documents and Additional Information

Project area Map (pdf)
Final Master Concept Plan (pdf)
Concept Two (pdf)
Concept Three (pdf)
Kenai River Comprehensive Management Plan(.htm)
EVOS Conservation Easement(pdf)
ADFG Riparian Habitat Regulations(pdf)
ADFG/DPOR Memorandum of Understanding(pdf)

For more information on the Planning Process Contact:

Jack Blackwell
Kenai/Prince William Sound Area
Phone: (907) 262-5581