Park Condition Reports

Last Update: May 18, 2018

News Releases


Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board recruiting new members

May 10, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is seeking multiple candidates to fill positions representing both motorized and non-motorized trail users on the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board (ORTAB). Applicants should have knowledge, experience, and interest in outdoor recreational activities and grant-funded programs.

The primary role of the ORTAB is to assist in evaluating grant proposals for the Recreational Trails Program and Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since 2000, these programs have invested over 30 million dollars in trail projects throughout the state, creating critical and sustainable infrastructure while supporting private sector jobs throughout Alaska. Because ORTAB members carry a wide array of trail and public land user experiences, they are occasionally asked for additional advice on other outdoor recreation related subjects.

Anyone interested in serving on the ORTAB should submit a letter of interest, brief resume, and completed questionnaire to the State Trails Program Manager, Darcy Harris at darcy.harris@alaska.gov. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2018. This is a Commissioner-appointed position with a three-year term, and the board meets a minimum of twice per year, at least once in person in Anchorage or as needed telephonically. Additional information regarding the ORTAB and the Recreational Trails Program can be found at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/trails.htm.

Link to questionnaire: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/ortabuestionnaire.pdf


New members sought for Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council

May 10, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is inviting interested individuals to apply for two vacancies on the seven-member Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council (SnowTRAC).

SnowTRAC members assist the division director by providing funding recommendations for the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program. This statewide grant program provides reimbursable, matching grant funds for trail development, and maintenance of trails and trail-related facilities for snowmobile use. The division is seeking individuals with special knowledge, experience, and interest in snowmobile trails and in grant-funded programs.

Qualifying applicants will be considered for three-year terms beginning retroactively, on March 1. One of the positions will represent the Kenai Peninsula/ Prince William Sound region and one will represent Southeast Alaska. Board members are expected to participate in meetings or teleconferences a minimum of once a year at their own expense. The annual meeting is typically held in late August in Anchorage and via teleconference.

Applicants must submit a letter of interest that describes their professional background, interests, experience, and knowledge, about snowmachining and three professional references to Darcy Harris, the State Trails Program Manager, via email at darcy.harris@alaska.gov, or standard mail at 550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 1380, Anchorage, AK 99501, no later than June 15 at 5 p.m. Faxed materials can be sent to 907-269-8907. For additional information regarding the SnowTRAC or the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program, please contact Darcy or visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/snowmotr.htm.

CONTACT: Darcy Harris, 907-269-8699, darcy.harris@alaska.gov


Trail restrictions delayed 2 weeks for Chena River State Recreation Area

April 24, 2018 (Fairbanks, AK) – Thanks to heavy snowfall along with a late breakup, seasonal trail use restrictions in the Chena River State Recreation Area will be delayed for two weeks, until Friday, May 4.

The Compeau, Stiles, and Angel Creek Hillside trails will close May 4 to all trail uses except walking. The seasonal closures protect the state’s investment and sustain summer motorized use of these popular trails by allowing them to thaw and water to disperse without disturbance. Weather dependent, the trails will reopen Thursday, May 24 in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Other trails that will stay open an additional two weeks are the South Fork, Colorado Creek, and Angel Creek Valley Trails. These are winter-only trails and will remain open to snow machine use until May 4.

Alaska State Parks is reluctant to restrict any uses unless there are no other viable management alternatives. In this case, the benefits of protecting the usefulness of these trails outweigh the inconveniences of seasonal restrictions. Trail users are urged to respect the integrity of the trails so others may continue to enjoy them. Violations may be reported to the State Parks office at 451-2695 or during evenings and weekends, call Alaska State Troopers and they will contact the park enforcement team.

CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 551-2698, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov


Office of Boating Safety releases annual Alaska boat accident statistics

April 19, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation’s Office of Boating Safety has released the State of Alaska’s 2017 boating accident statistics in advance of Safe Boating Week (May 19-25, 2018). Statistics include U.S. Coast Guard reportable accidents involving boats used for non-commercial purposes such as recreation, personal transportation, and subsistence.

In 2017, Alaska had 16 boating accidents that involved:
• 20 deaths;
• 3 injuries; and
• approximately $58,700 dollars of damage to property.

The 20 fatalities in 2017 are an increase from 2016 (16) and 2015 (7). Alaska continues, however, to see a decrease in the five-year average number of fatalities. For 2013 to 2017, the five-year average was 11.8 fatalities, down from 14.4 fatalities from 2008 to 2012.

The primary cause of Alaska’s boating fatalities continues to be a cold-water immersion-related drowning or disappearance immediately following a capsize, swamping, ejection, or fall overboard, involving a person not wearing a life jacket. Alaskans are reminded to always wear a life jacket when in an open boat or on an open deck. It is the law for persons under 13 years old.

Accidents that happen on waters outside State of Alaska jurisdiction, such as those in national parks and on military bases, are not included in these statistics.

CONTACT: Jeff Johnson 907-269-8705, jeff.johnson@alaska.gov


Seasonal trail restrictions planned for Chena River State Recreation Area

April 13, 2018 (Fairbanks, AK) – Effective next Friday, April 20, the Compeau, Stiles, and Angel Creek Hillside trails in Chena River State Recreation Area will be closed to all trail uses except walking. To protect the state’s investment and sustain summer motorized use of these popular trails, it is necessary to allow the trails to thaw and the water to disperse without disturbance. The trails will reopen on Thursday, May 24, in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Other trails that will be seasonally closed in the recreation area are the South Fork, Colorado Creek, and Angel Creek Valley Trails. These are winter-only trails and open to snow machine use from October 15 to April 20.

Alaska State Parks is reluctant to restrict any uses unless there are no other viable management alternatives. In this case, the benefits of protecting the usefulness of these trails outweigh the inconveniences of seasonal restrictions. We urge trail users to respect the integrity of the trails so others may continue to enjoy them. Violations may be reported to the State Parks office at 451-2695 or during evenings and weekends, call Alaska State Troopers and they will contact the park enforcement team.

CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 551-2698, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov


Alaska State Parks seeks artists for 2018 residency program

February 14, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – Emerging and established artists are invited to apply for Alaska State Parks’ third annual Artist-In-Residence Program. Alaska State Parks is excited to expand the program to Kachemak Bay and the Mat-Su this year.

Residencies are available to artists in all types of media, at the following locations:

• The Ernest Gruening Cabin in Juneau, the territorial governor’s summer retreat and on the National Register of Historic Places.
• The beachfront Halibut Cove Ranger Station in Kachemak Bay State Park, across from Homer.
• The Butterfly Lake Host Cabin in the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, part of a previous homestead.

Program details including the 2018 schedule and how to apply are available at
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/artistinresidence.htm

The deadline to submit applications for the program is March 15, 2018
. Artists who participate in the program will be asked to donate an original artwork inspired by their time at the cabin and to host a community outreach event, such as a workshop, talk, or other presentation. Artists must also provide their own food, supplies and art materials for their stay.

The purpose of the residency program is to encourage artists to create work inspired by Alaska’s state parks. It also offers visitors and the public an opportunity to see state parks through the eyes of contributing artists.

As Constance Baltuck, one of the program’s first resident artists, explained, “It’s a wonderful opportunity for an immersion experience, not just in the creation of art, but also in the appreciation of a beautiful natural landscape.”

CONTACT: Preston Kroes, 907-465-2481, preston.kroes@alaska.gov


Applicants sought for Kenai River Special Management Area advisory board

January 16, 2018 (Soldotna, AK) – Applications are currently being accepted for three upcoming vacancies on the Kenai River Special Management Area Citizens Advisory Board.

This advisory board provides state park managers with recommendations on the management of the special management area. The people selected will serve from July 2018 through June 2021 and the board typically meets once a month between September and May.

To apply for a position on this advisory board, fill out the Alaska State Park Advisory Board Application provided at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/boards.htm. Applications are being accepted through March 31.

For more information, please contact the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area state park office at 907-262-5581.

CONTACT: Jack Blackwell, 907-262-5581, jack.blackwell@alaska.gov