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Trail Advocates in Alaska Hope for Funding Increase

You are currently viewing Trail Advocates in Alaska Hope for Funding Increase
The Alaska Long Trail will be like the Appalachian Trail.
  • Post category:News

Advocates of Alaskan trails are calling on local and state leaders to dedicate roughly $20.3 million of the state budget to be used for 21 projects all focused on repairing trails in the state. The overarching goal of the various projects is to build connections between roughly 500 miles of trails in the state. The trails span from Fairbanks to Seward. The main advocates in support of this budgetary project are the organizers from the nonprofit organization Alaska Trails. They also have a number of coalition partners whom they work with, forming a network of advocates. The all work together to promote what has been dubbed the “Alaska Long Trail.” The long trail would together run from the Resurrection Bay coast of the Kenai Peninsula to the forest in the Interior of Alaska.

The long trail is one that will ideally mimic the style of the Appalachian Trail on the east coast.

The deputy director of Alaska Trails, Haley Johnston, has said that a lot of great work is already being done for the Alaska Long Trail. She recently gave a presentation at an event in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. In her presentation, she stated that improvement plans have already started in some parts of the trail. However, there is still much space for the project to continue and grow, which is what the increased funding would allow to happen.

The pathway along the Kenai Peninsula from Seward to the Eagle River is nearly completed. Experts believe that it will be a big draw, tourism wise, for Alaska this coming summer. Johnston further explained in her presentation that there are still chunks of the trail that are missing or undesigned. The good news is that all are small enough areas that the experience is not significantly damaged.

Along with the requested budget, the trail is being considered being given the title of a National Scenic Trail.

If the trail is able to earn the designation, there will be more opportunities for funding. This title would open it up to receiving more federal funding. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is currently conducting studies and research on the land to determine if the trail is worthy of the title.

There are tiers to which trails will ideally be worked on first. One of the largest priorities is one of the most popular trails in the state, Flattop Mountain. This trail is found within the Chugach State Park and has a specific budgetary request of $2.7 million.

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