Bird Creek Trail overlooking the Seward Highway

Chugach State Park Planning

Much has happened since the Chugach State Park Master Plan was adopted in 1980 and the Trail Plan in 1986. Anchorage has grown rapidly resulting in increased use of the park. This use has stressed park facilities that are often at capacity during busy summer days and raised new land use concerns. These concerns include park access along a boundary that is being rapidly developed, building and maintaining park facilities complementary to the area, trails and trail connectivity, and resource protection.
Windy Point
In an effort to address these issues and update plan recommendations, the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation initiated a planning process to revise these plans in the spring of 2008. The master plan will set forth management guidelines and make recommendations for the development of recreational facilities within the park while the trail plan will provide specific guidance for trail management and development.  As part of this planning effort, the Department is also working with the Municipality of Anchorage on a joint Chugach Access Plan.  This plan will serve as a guide for access placement and development along the boundary of the park.

Latest News

Chugach State Park Management Plan and Trail Management Plan Adopted 2/29/16

On February 29, 2016 the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources adopted the Chugach State Park Management Plan and the Chugach State Park Trail Management Plan. The Public Review Drafts of these plans modified by the Recommended Revisions constitute the final adopted plans by the Commissioner. These plans supersede the 1980 Chugach State Park Master Plan and the 1986 Chugach State Park Trail Plan. The Public Review Drafts and Recommended Revisions for each plan can be found using the links below.

Chugach State Park Management Plan

Chugach State Park Trail Management Plan

Chugach Access Plan Change

For the last three years, the Chugach Access Plan has been going through the municipal adoption process with the intent of having it incorporated as an element of the Municipality of Anchorage’s Comprehensive Plan. This course of action was deemed necessary at the start of the joint planning process in order to give the document the status of an officially adopted municipal plan so that municipal staff could use in when making park access-related decisions consistent with the provisions in the municipal Title 21 code. During the course of the adoption process and based on a great deal of public input, the municipality made changes to Title 21 that eliminated the requirement for the plan to be adopted. The new Title 21 now contains more detailed guidance and criteria related to establishing access to the park. As a result, the Chugach Access Plan is now considered a technical document that informs and augments the requirements in Title 21 and provides detailed information about areas along the park boundary. Both the State and the Municipality of Anchorage will consider information in the Chugach Access Plan when enhancing or establishing access to the park. To formalize the collaborative relationship between the two agencies originally envisioned through the joint planning process, a Memorandum of Understanding is being established outlining the working relationship with regard to park access.

Draft Chugach Access Plan
Eklutna Lake

Planning Process

Below is an outline of the major steps that will be taken to develop the plans.
green bullet STEP 1: Identify Issues - Through a public involvement process identify issues and concerns.

green bullet STEP 2: Gather Information - Throughout the planning process collect information about natural resources, present and past land use, land ownership, and the local economy.

green bullet STEP 3: Prepare and Evaluate Land Use Alternatives - Describe possible choices for management based on public interests, local resources, and state policies. Describe the effects of each choice on goals for the management of an area.

green bullet STEP 4: Prepare Draft Plan -The planning team and advisory board create a draft plan that reflects resource values and public and agency goals. The agencies review the first draft and settle any land use conflicts that remain, or propose the best alternatives for public review.

green bullet STEP 5: Public Review of Draft Plan - Hold public meetings to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the draft plan and to identify parts that need to be changed.

green bullet STEP 6: Prepare Final Plan - Review agency and public comments and revise the plan as needed.

green bullet STEP 7: Approve Plan - The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources approves and signs the plan.

green bullet STEP 8: Adopt and Implement Plan - Plan guides management decisions for state lands in the planning area.

Additional Documents

Below you will find a Public Comment List that summarizes all the comments received during the scoping phase and the first two Newsletters that were issued as part of this process. Existing park plans are also available below.

Public Scoping - Public Comment List, June 2008.

Newsletter #1, April 2008.

Newsletter #2, Summer 2008.

Chugach State Parks Master Plan, February 1980.

Chugach State Parks Trail Plan, January 1986.

Chugach State Park Access Inventory, Analysis and Recommendations, October 2002