Glacier Ranger District and Chugach National Forest News
By Carolyn Seramur
Special to the Turnagain Times
Summer – ready, set, go! Parking lots swept. Lawns and grounds raked. Supplies and toilet paper stocked. Training/orientations are currently happening. Summer staff here and more arrive throughout May and June.
Prince William Sound back country rangers and others are participating in a Gulf of Alaska Clean up around Bainbridge Passage over the weekend of May 18-20. Throughout the summer they assist in protecting and spreading knowledge about Western Prince William Sound and Nellie Juan College Fiord Wilderness Study Area.
June 2: is National Trails Day 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ranger Station. Join Girdwood Parks and Recreation and the Forest Service to assist with cutting back Alder and other brush along the bike path. Some tools, safety glasses, gloves are available. For more information call Kyle Kelly at Girdwood Parks and Recreation at 343-8374 or Alison Rein at the Ranger Station.
June 9: Kids Fishing Day 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Moose Flats Day Use Area, Portage Valley. Events/Activities planned for families with kids 13 years old and younger. Alaska Department of Fish and Game will have their mobile aquatics classroom set up. Come dressed for the weather and bring your fishing pole!
In the month of June every Thursday is Ranger Station Story Programs from 7 p.m. to 8p.m. at the Ranger Station. Through Four Valleys Community School, Carolyn Seramur is hosting programs focusing for the young but all ages are welcome! The stories will be: June 7– Bears, June 14 – Gold, June 21 – Trails, and June 28 – Glaciers.
June 16–17: Maintenance on Hand Tram across Winner Creek Gorge. Hand Tram is CLOSED until fixed. Girdwood Parks and Recreation is in charge of operations. Please call ahead for trail conditions and/or status before accessing this tram from Winner Creek Trailhead at Alyeska Hotel or Winner Creek Gorge Trailhead along Crow Creek Road.
Moose Flats Day Use Area and other signs on the forest have been vandalized. Please do not use these areas for shooting/target practice. Reminder: shooting is not allowed in Portage Valley except for some hunting (Sept. 1 – April 30). Front Country staff will attempt to clean up, fix, and/or replace things ASAP.
Air Quality Monitoring took place in Turnagain Pass this past winter/spring. Carbon Dioxide and particulate levels were measured along with other factors (weather, recreation use patterns). Measurements help determine if air quality is within acceptable standards.
Upgrades will occur this summer on portions of Portage Pass Trail. Trailhead or Whittier side will get construction on water bars and dips. Portage Lake side of the trail will be constructed from Divide Lake to Portage Lake!
Campgrounds are snow covered and gates are CLOSED as of May 11. Our Front Country Recreation staff met with the concessionaires (Alaska Recreation Management – ARM) on May 8 to discuss campground facility operations. As weather/snow/conditions allow, gates will be opened and campground roads possibly plowed. Fully operational by Memorial Day is probable.
The Fisheries program is tackling some fixer-upper type projects on Glacier Ranger District in and near Williwaw Creek, Lyons Creek, Portage Creek, and Upper Explorer Pond. Projects work with fish habitat and stream banks restoration.
Once more snow melts and conditions allow safe access, recreationists will be able to travel on Byron Glacier Trail and ride the train to Spencer Glacier Whistlestop. For more information go to the website: www.alaskarailroad.com. Visitor Center staff offers guided hikes on both of these trails throughout the summer. Call Begich, Boggs Visitor Center for more on those at 783-2326, after May 25.
Accepting Public Comments
Granite Creek Recreation Area is possibly going to get revamped with vegetation enhancement. Overall this project assists in reducing Spruce Bark Beetle risk, increasing hardwood stand health, and moose browse. Accepting comments until May 19 at 754-2322 or email@example.com.
The Forest is looking for comments on Chugach Powder Guides Helicopter operations; anything positive/negative with interactions, feedback, when occurred, how affected etc. Accepting comments until May 31 at 754-2372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Granite Creek Campground has a proposal for reconstruction. Last renovations were in the 80s; in recent years Granite Creek has eroded some of the campsites. Accepting comments until June 1 at 754-2329 or email@example.com.
If you need assistance in knowing where to go or what to do in the area; stop on by the Glacier Ranger District office M-F 8-5 or Begich, Boggs Visitor Center 7 days/week 9-6 p.m. starting Memorial Day weekend. To find the best person to contact about a specific program/project, call the Ranger Station at 783-3242.