Jim Creek Motorized Master Plan

September 14, 2012
To whom it may concern:

The purpose of this email is to present the comments of the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition (AQRC) on the draft of the Jim Creek Motorized Master Plan. AQRC is a state-wide nonprofit organization that believes natural quiet and natural sounds are resources of our public lands that deserve protection. Our objective is for a fair and balanced allocation of our public lands for both non-motorized and motorized recreational uses.

The plan as currently drafted is simply a plan to accommodate motorized recreation. In no way can a non-motorized area of 7 acres be considered a fair allocation among conflicting uses. While the controlled use area is larger, putting a single track equestrian trail next to the noise of the racetrack can hardly qualify as a non-motorized area. The bigger question is does the overwhelming number of acres devoted to motorized activity to the exclusion of quiet, non-motorized recreation represent the interests of the community ? It appears more likely to reflect the desires of a single group: young men with noisy machines. Does the Butte community really want a motorized play area with all its potential noise, traffic, dust and perhaps trespass issues ?

We strongly recommend that the planning effort be re-opened with much more extensive outreach so all segments of the community have a chance to present their ideas of how this land should be managed to provide for all forms of recreation. A fair allocation of land for non-motorized recreational activities should be set aside on the eastern side of the parcel, far from the racetrack area.

We support the proposed desired future conditions. However, full funding and staff must be in place before any implementation of this plan (if it remains as motorized as currently presented) occurs. Otherwise the desired future conditions will never be able to be achieved and this borough land will be a sacrifice zone: overrun by motorized recreational vehicles and consequently deserted by walkers, hikers, equestrians, skiers, snowshoers and all other quiet recreationists.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Susan Olsen, President