Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mysterious Ad in Kodiak Daily Mirror

November 15 2011:  A mysterious ad appears in the classified section of the KDM entitled "Save Fort Abercrombie".  The ad has no name, phone number, or address included.  Why not?  It also contains one completely false item of information and at least one piece of unsubstantiated misinformation.   I originally was supportive of some of the opposition to the Miller Point project, but no longer.  Improved access to the area is a necessity.   I'm afraid this ad only exemplifies the worst traits of the opposition to the project.  Such tactics tend to hurt more than help the cause.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fort Abercrombie Trails Day Saturday July 30 2011

What: Ft. Abercrombie Trails Day
When: Saturday, July 30th 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 4pm
Where: Ft. Abercrombie State Park

Description: Bring your friends and family to celebrate and give back to the wonderful trail system at Ft. Abercrombie State Park. Learn about trail construction, help improve a local trail and have fun!

Tools, protective equipment, and technical expertise provided by Island Trails Network. Refreshments provided by Friends of Kodiak State Parks.

For more information contact Ft. Abercrombie at 486-6339. See Attached Flier.

Sponsored by:
Island Trails Network
Kodiak State Parks Citizen Advisory Board
Friends of Kodiak State Parks

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dogs, Leashes and the Fort Abercrombie Trails

Alaska State Park Regulations require that all pets be on a leash in all State Parks.  Walking your dog in Fort Abercrombie on a leash is a courtesy to other hikers who may be afraid or just annoyed by a loose dog running around.  No matter how well trained your dog might be, a leash is a good idea.  There are often deer in the park and, occasionally, bears as well.  A leash protects your pet and wildlife.
A no-leash required zone is located at the Parkside entrance to the park.  In that area, you can walk your dog without a leash.  The leash zone includes the trails around Lake Gertrude and areas east of the lake.
Please help protect our wildlife, create a positive experience for all hikers, and honor State Park regulations and leash your pet in the required areas.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Alaska Trails Letter Asking Governor Parnell to Keep James King as Director of Alaska State Parks

December 27,2010
Governor Sean Parnell
PO Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001

Governor Parnell,
Please reconsider your decision to accept the resignation of James King as director of the
Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. We strongly feel that Mr. King has been an
outstanding manager and powerful advocate for the division. We believe that he would stay on
as director if you were to ask.
The list of Mr. King's accomplishments is long. During his tenure he has increased
maintenance in state park units, improved staff morale and retention, overseen the construction
and maintenance of many miles of trails, and helped bring agencies, organizations, and
volunteers together to better manage our parks. His efforts have helped make Alaska a better
place to live and visit.
A partial list of what Mr. King has done includes:
• Improving campgrounds, trails, boat launchers, docks, signs, roads, and other facilities.
• Reversing a 25-year trend of deferred maintenance growth.
• Bringing conservationists and developers together in support of the proposed South
Denali Visitor Center.
• Overseeing the replacement of failing outhouses with more than 100 new low
maintenance concrete toilets.
• Successfully working out many contentious issues on the Kenai River.
• Helping complete a new snowmobile trail connection from Big Lake to Denali State Park.
Our group's particular interest is in trails, and Mr. King has been a leader in that arena by
getting trails badly needed maintenance, having many miles of new trails built, and having trails
rerouted to more sustainable alignments. These efforts have benefited both motorized and nonmotorized
users. By capably administering trail grant programs Mr. King has helped agencies,
local governments, and trail groups complete nearly 100 trail projects and groom more than
1,000 miles of multi-use/motorized winter trails. Under Mr. King's leadership, trails have been
improved across the state including in Kachemak Bay State Park, Chugach State Park, Hatcher
Pass, Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, Denali State Park, and Chena River State Recreation
Enhancing the Alaska trail experience by supporting sustainable, world-renowned trails through advocacy and education
P.O. Box 100627 Anchorage, AK 99510 Ph: 907-334-8049 Email: office@a/aska-trails.org
Alaska's state parks and other wild lands are some of our most valuable resources. Our state
parks receive more than 5.4 million visits a year. These parks and wild lands improve the
quality of life for Alaskans and help strengthen our visitor industry. Clearly, the Division of Parks
and Outdoor Recreation need strong, talented, and committed leadership so that these valuable
resources remain accessible and enjoyable.
We need a strong and capable leader at the helm of the Division of Parks and Outdoor
Recreation. Mr. King has already proven to be such a leader. Please retain him as director.


Erin McLarnon, Executive Director
Geoffrey Orth, Board President

Cc: Commissioner Daniel Sullivan

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kodiak State Parks Seeks New Citizens' Advisory Board Members

Kodiak State Parks is currently accepting applications from local residents who would like to serve on the CAB.

You can pick up an application at the park office in Fort Abercrombie or online.

Kodiak State Parks Citizen Advisory Board
Meeting Information:

Second Monday of the month, September through May
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Kodiak District Office
Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park

Contact Information:

Alaska State Parks
Kodiak District Ranger
1400 Abercrombie Dr.
Kodiak, AK 99615
(907) 486-6339

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trails Plan Input

The Borough is soliciting input to the road system trail plan they are writing.  You can comment online at www.kodiaktrailsplan.com

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kodiak Trails Plan Meeting Announced


Thanks again for your interest and input so far in helping craft a Trails Plan for the Kodiak Island Borough.  The trails planning team is taking this opportunity to encourage you to attend a public meeting on May 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Northstar School.  At the meeting, we will present the results of trails planning work to date and ask you and other participants to review and comment on the following issues:
·         Trail conditions by geographic area
·         Trail issues and connections by geographic area
·         Trail management and user conflict strategies
·         Trailhead location issues and options

The meeting will include an overview presentation starting at 6:15 followed by opportunities to view and comment on trail maps and other displays.  The meeting will conclude with a summary of next steps at about 8:30 p.m. 

We encourage you to check out the project Web site at www.kodiaktrailsplan.com for more information about these efforts.  You can also use the Web site to leave feedback or contact project staff.  Or you can contact Bud Cassidy, Community Development Director, Kodiak Island Borough, 907-486-9360 or bcassidy@kodiakak.us.  Please feel free to share this message with your friends and family!

Thanks for your continued support for trails planning efforts and we look forward to seeing you on May 18!

Joe Gilpin, Project Manager
Alta Planning + Design
transportation | recreation | innovation
116 N. 10th Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715

Monday, April 19, 2010

Support for Concept B at Miller Point

After careful consideration including walking the affected areas and studying the drawings and maps in the park office, I am supporting Concept B of the Miller Point Access Project.  We, the public, have had our say and have been heard and Alaska State Parks has adjusted the project accordingly.  It's time to improve access for the elderly and disabled at Miller Point and to move on to other issues.
From what I read on the Stewards of the Buskin River blog and Facebook page, the FAA proposal to extend the north/south runway 1200 feet toward the mouth of the Buskin River is a major concern and one the public should be watching closely.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Public Voice of Opposition?

Is Jeff Stewart the public voice of opposition to the Miller Point Access Project?  His most recent letter doesn't reflect well on those who have opposed the MPAP.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Alaska State Parks Miller Point Open House

Due to work and family obligations, I was unable to attend the open house last Tuesday. I've talked to a few people who were there and taken a look at the revised Miller Point plans at the ranger station.
They have copies of all the maps and site plans.

The new plan is definitely an improvement to the earlier plan - it seems to address the concerns raised by some park users by reducing the footprint of the turnaround/ADA parking area below the point.
The KDM article and KMXT coverage seems to indicate a general public acceptance of the new site plan.
Yellow Porcupine's summary of the meeting makes it sound like it was a pretty positive, albeit lightly attended, meeting. I  am impressed that so many of the CAB members were in attendance to hear public comment. 
I'd like to receive comments on the meeting from those who attended.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Yellow Porcupine: The Miller Point Trees - Fact vs. Fiction

Link posted with the Yellow Porcupine's permission.  Interesting facts related to the trees in the proposed Miller Point Access Project area.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Draft Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park Preservation Plan‏

This email was forwarded to AFoFASHP:

From: Acevedo, Nicole M (DNR) (nicole.acevedo@alaska.gov)

I realize that Michelle has probably already beat me to this, but I make sure that you know that there is a draft plan posted on the State Park’s website for review; you can find it at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/ under the heading “Plans Under Review…” Please read through it and send your comments, questions, and concerns regarding this draft plan to either Doug Gasek or myself. If you would like a hard copy mailed to you, please let me know as soon as possible.
We will be hosting a public meeting on Thursday March 11 beginning at 7:00pm at the Bayside Fire Station Training Center, 4606 East Rezanof Drive to discuss the first draft Fort Abercrombie National Historic Landmark Preservation Plan and to receive your comments and suggestions.The announcement is posted at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/curevnts.htm for your convenience.
You can also submit your comments by responding to this email or you can contact me by telephone or regular mail (number and address listed below). Doug Gasek can be contacted at doug.gasek@alaska.gov or by phone at (907) 269-8726.
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested in participating in this project.
Niki Acevedo
Natural Resource Specialist
ADNR, Interpretation and Education
550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1340
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-0429
Fax: (907) 269-8917

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Capital Projects versus Operations

Capital project funds cannot be used for operations in State Parks; this rule is true for most government projects.  Thus, money appropriated for the Miller Point project cannot be used to hire staff for Kodiak State Parks.  It cannot be used to charter buses or any  use other than capital improvements.  The capital project funds cannot be used to hire extra staff to handle the difficult and potentially unsafe maneuvering of school buses and other large vehicles who cannot turn around at Miller Point without assistance.  Kodiak residents and visitors who are elderly, disabled, or otherwise physically limited deserve safe and convenient access to the Miller Point Historical Area.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Management of Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park

Fort Abercrombie became a park unit of the State Park System in 1969. 182 acres of state land was set aside to be managed by the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for the enjoyment and preservation of the area's unique historical and natural features. In 1970 Ft. Abercrombie was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1985, the park was designated a National Historic Landmark. (from the Fort Abercrombie web site)
The policy of ASP has been to manage Fort Abercrombie primarily as an important historic military site, to the best of my knowledge.

Miller Point has been the focal point of historical preservation and interpretation. The 1973 and 2006 management plans identify this area as one of concern related to safety and access. With this concern in mind, creating convenient and safe parking and access for local and out-of-town visitors seems reasonable.  Many visitors cannot climb (or have their wheelchair pushed up) the steep gravel road from the RV overflow parking area to the point.  Residents and tourists with disabilities, of advanced age, or any other condition preventing access deserve improvements designed to enhance their visit to Miller Point.
 I've been at Miller Point at times during the off-season when  local visitors had great difficulty finding parking and maneuvering around the current inadequate parking area next to the museum.  Two CAB members, as well as other local residents, shared with me their experiences of bringing an elderly relative or visitor to the military museum and having difficulty with  parking and turning around at the point.  All stressed that their relatives/visitors could not have walked up the road.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Purpose of Alaska State Parks as defined in Alaska Statutes

There is no doubt that the Miller Point project fully satisfies the purpose of Alaska State Parks as mandated by the Alaska State Legislature.

Alaska Statutes

Title 41. Public Resources

Chapter 21. Parks and Recreational Facilities

Section 10. Purpose.
AS 41.21.010. Purpose.
It is the purpose of AS 41.21.010 - 41.21.040 to foster the growth and development of a system of parks and recreational facilities and opportunities in the state, for the general health, welfare, education, and enjoyment of its citizens and for the attraction of visitors to the state.

Kodiak State Parks Citizens Advisory Board: hard-working volunteers

Section II Part B of KSP CAB by-laws
B. Representation: The Board membership shall be chosen to ensure the representation of the broad public interests and users so as to prevent domination of the Board by a single viewpoint. All Board members carry the responsibility to represent the public interest and shall not consider themselves merely advocates of a group.

In my conversations with members of the CAB over the years and, especially, in recent weeks, I am convinced that the current and past boards have taken their responsibilities seriously and acted in the best interests of this historical site.  They read the relevant documents and dialogue with members of the community. They understand and follow Alaska Statutes as they define the purpose of Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park and Alaska State Parks located in the Kodiak district. They adhere to the requirements set forth in the CAB by-laws. The board membership represents a true cross-section of the community.
Whether or not one agrees with board decisions, they deserve respect for committing the time and energy to our parks.  Recent criticism of the CAB is, in my opinion, undeserved and appears to be petty and vindictive.
In addition, the board is ADVISORY - State Parks is under no obligation or requirement to follow the recommendations of the CAB.