It’s finally official! Please read below for the press release outlining the project.
For Immediate Release
December 12, 2019
Wes Hoskins, Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation (907) 746-8757
Stuart Leidner, Alaska State Parks (907) 745-8935
Katie Sechrist, Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (907) 267-2541
Alaska Department of Fish & Game Awards Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation $937,000 grant to build approximately 15 miles of new trail in Denali State Park.
(Palmer, Alaska) – Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation working with Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Wildlife Conservation (ADF&G DWC) and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation (DNR DPOR) will undertake a three-year project to connect the K’esugi Ken Campground to the K’esugi Ridge Trail. The project is funded by Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act from ADF&G DWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Pittman-Robertson funds are comprised of tax revenue collected from the sale of firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment that are used to support public access to wildlife resources and improve hunter access. The grant will pay for 75% of the project cost with the foundation matching 25% creating a total estimated investment worth over 1.2 million dollars.
Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation will administer the funding while contracting with a trail construction contractor to complete the work. Project review, oversight, and final approval of the finished trail will be provided by DNR DPOR. The exact alignment of the new trail will be surveyed in summer of 2020 with construction estimated to span the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
“This is a great example of a partnership where a charitable organization can leverage funds from the community in order to get large-scale projects done on public lands. Without funding from our big supporters like the Mat-Su Health Foundation and gifts from passionate people in the Mat-Su this project would not have happened now.” Wes Hoskins, Executive Director, Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation.
Alaska State Parks has constructed five miles of trail from K’esugi Ken Campground up to and past Lake 1787. The Curry Ridge Connector will continue this work connecting to the existing K’esugi Ridge Trail around the point that it crosses Upper Troublesome Creek. This new segment will provide better access on an increasingly popular area. More opportunities for hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, and extended overnight trips will be created as the K’esugi Ridge Trail is extended to about 45 miles total.
Since 2011, generous community support has allowed Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation to award nearly $1 million in grant funding to local organizations. It’s an investment that supports access for everyone into wild and beautiful places in Alaska. Parks for families, trails for seniors, access for hunting, fishing and horseback riding, trails for backcountry adventurers, as well as strong stewardship that translates into maintenance for our new and existing world-class trails.
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