I’ll be making a trip to Alaska in early August, and have a series of meetings scheduled during that time.
I’ll be meeting with the Forest Supervisor for the Chugach National Forest, along with some staff to discuss their Forest Plan Revision process. We submitted a detailed comment letter several months ago on what is a very intriguing process—the majority of the Chugach National Forest is deemed to fit Wilderness criteria, yet there is no substantive effort to have it designated at such. Our primary concern is the portion of the forest on the Kenai Peninsula where the majority of the existing mountain bike trails are located, and of course our focus will be to keep that access intact and lobby to improve it for year-round use.
We also have a meeting scheduled with the Bureau of Land Management’s State Recreation Lead to begin the discussion on how and where we could work with the agency to develop additional trail access. Other meetings include those with the Alaska Wilderness League to discuss our respective work around the state to insure that we are communicating and working as efficiently as possible. We also hope to schedule additional meetings with the Alaska State Director of the Wilderness Society to discuss our respective work and keep those lines of communication open. Lastly, we are trying to schedule a meeting with the Alaska State Parks to discuss the potential for developing trails in Chugach State Park, which in itself is almost 500,000 acres.
We’ll keep the IMBA Alaska Facebook page updated on this trip and the outcomes of our meetings.