Chugach State Park: regulations

July 30, 2015

Claire LeClair, Deputy Director Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation

550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1380

Anchorage, AK 99501-3561

Dear Deputy Director LeClair:

The purpose of this letter is to offer the comments of the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition (AQRC) on proposed changes to the state park regulations affecting Chugach State Park. As you are aware AQRC is a non-profit, state-wide organization which believes natural sounds and natural quiet are resources of our public lands that deserve protection by land managers in management plans, permit decisions and through monitoring and enforcement actions. AQRC is particularly concerned that non-motorized recreationists have access to trails and areas, separated from motorized recreational activities, so that they may enjoy the quiet recreational experience they seek. AQRC finds the proposed changes to the regulations to be minor and we have few comments. We are supportive of all language changes which clarify boundaries delineating where certain activities may occur and where they are prohibited. This is particularly important in Chugach State Park where resources for enforcement and monitoring are limited or non-existent and there are increasing recreational demands. We also support expansion of non-motorized recreational activities in Chugach State Park. As proposed, fat tire cyclists would be able to access all trails currently open to bicycles as well as a few other trails. On a technical note, the existing 11 AAC 20.050 allows bicycles to access the trails listed in subsection (a) year-round. The proposed change to this section would allow fat tire bicycles to access these same trails year-round as well. The proposed new subsection (c)(1) then sets dates fat tire bicycles are allowed on, among others, the Middle Fork Loop Trail. Is this not in conflict with 11 AAC 20.050(a)(8) which allows bicycle use, including fat tire bike use, year-round on the Middle Fork Loop Trail ? If the intent is to restrict fat tire bicycle use on this trail to the dates specified, we suggest further clarification is needed to avoid confusion. Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Sincerely yours,

Cliff Eames, Vice President

Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition

P.O. Box 202592 Anchorage, AK 99520