April 9, 2010
BLM Anchorage Field Office
4700 BLM Road
Anchorage, AK 99507
To whom it may concern:
The purpose of this email is to offer the scoping comments of the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition (AQRC) on the Campbell Tract Plan Amendment.
AQRC is dedicated to protecting the rights of alaskans to quiet places for the benefit of public land users, home and cabin owners, communities, businesses, wildlife, visitors and future generations. We are a state-wide nonprofit organization which believes natural sounds and natural quiet are resources of our public lands that deserve protection by land managers.
We support the continued use of the Tract for non-motorized recreation. Since visitation at the Tract has increased tenfold, from 17,000 in 1988 to 162,000 in 2009, we suggest that the amended plan look at a “cap” or “ceiling” on the activities offered so as to preserve the existing natural conditions (including birds, wildlife and soundscape) that are used to provide science and nature education. We further suggest that baseline data be gathered, such as the soundscape and that the carrying capacity of the trails analyzed.
It is the very “wild” qualities of the trails and the setting that makes quiet recreation like hiking, walking, skiing, running, bird watching so enjoyable. While there are many urban recreational facilities and trails available in the MOA, Campbell Tract is unique and offers a much different experience which should be preserved at all costs. For these reasons we also recommend that permits for commercial recreational uses of the Tract not be approved.
Thank you for this opportunity to comment.
Meera Narayanan, Treasurer
Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition
P.O. Box 202592
Anchorage, AK 99520