(Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation has awarded five grants through the 2012 Snowmachine Trail Grant program. In addition, the division funded the two grooming pools that help maintain trails in the Mat-Su, the Kenai Peninsula, Southeast Alaska, and the Interior. Funding for grooming has been awarded at approximately the same level as last year.
The Snowmachine Trail Grant Program offers competitive and reimbursable matching grants that can be awarded to develop and maintain public Snowmachine trails and related facilities and for safety, education, and trail signing projects. The Snowmachine Trail Grant Program's Grooming Pool provides funding for trail grooming, signing, and maintenance.
"We are pleased to see some money going to a trail safety project in rural Alaska this year." said Darcy Harris, Alaska Trails Program Coordinator. "We want to encourage more people from the villages to apply for project funding."
Grant applications were reviewed and evaluated by the Snowmachine Trails Advisory Council (SnowTRAC), a statewide citizen advisory committee appointed by the division director. All of the grants recommended by the council were approved by Director Ben Ellis.
Funding for the grants comes from Snowmachine registration fees paid to the State by Snowmachine owners. Continuation of this grant program is dependent upon an annual appropriation by the Alaska Legislature of Snowmachine registration fees. This year, the program also received a donation of $100,000 from the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board (ORTAB). This is money from the federal Recreational Trails Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The projects receiving grants are:
Lake Louise Trail Signs, submitted by the Lake Louise Snowmachine Club, Inc. The grantee will purchase directional and mileage signs, trail system information kiosks to direct trail users to trail heads and have pertinent trail information posted for multiple-use winter trails, primarily used by Snowmachines. The Lake Louise Snowmachine Club and the Glennallen Boy Scouts will provide all labor, transportation and tools for this project. Lake Louise Snowmachine Club, Inc. was awarded $5,300.
Iron Dog Snowmachine Safety EXPO, submitted by Iron Dog, Inc. The grantee will host a free public festival to promote Snowmachine education and safety through presentations, seminars, industry vendors, public safety organizations, and the distribution of educational materials. Festival will be held indoors at the Curtis M. Menard Sports Complex on Feb. 9, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Iron Dog Inc. was awarded $11,600.
Huslia Winter Trail Safety Project, submitted by Huslia Tribal Council. The grantee will mark and identify trails leading from Huslia to other villages in the Yukon-Koyukuk area using tripods with reflective tape. Safety is a top priority when it comes to winter travel, according to the application, and with proper trail marking their search and rescue operations will be more successful, and less frequent. Huslia Tribal Council was awarded $15,000.
Alaska Safe Rider, submitted by the North American Outdoor Institute. This project will provide interactive safety education training for recreational Snowmachine riders in a minimum of six communities in Alaska. Utilizing curriculum developed in past projects and strongly supported by Snowmachine professionals, combined with new concepts that incorporate pop culture and innovative activities, the goal of this training project is to attract Snowmachine riders of all ages and abilities to increase the skill of riders and establish a culture of safe snowmobiling in Alaska. North American Outdoor Institute was awarded $15,000.
Caribou Lake Trail/ Lacey Lane Trail, submitted by Snowmads, Inc. The grantee will appropriately reroute and mark a Snowmachine trail around some dangerous and wet riding areas. According to the application, the new route is the major access to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and connects with the Ptarmigan Head Trail which will join the Caribou Hills South to the Caribou Hills North grooming area. Snowmads, Inc was awarded $4,400.
For additional information regarding SnowTRAC or the Snowmachine Trails Grant Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, the State Trails Program Coordinator, or by standard mail at 550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 1380, Anchorage, AK 99501, or by phone at 907-269-8699.