Late Spring saw a flurry of planning activity for the Alaska Long Trail. Vital community opinions were gathered at the Alaska Trails annual conference in breakout sessions hosted by coordinators representing five regions from Kenai to Fairbanks.
Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation hosted in-person meetings focused on the Mat-Su section of the conceptual Long Trail route for the first time since 2020. Including a land manager’s meeting which garnered great discussions from Alaska State Parks, Alaska Railroad, the Mat-Su Borough, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game representatives. A long list of government, corporate, and individual supporters is growing as the vision of the Long Trail gathers momentum.
Unfortunately for the Mat-Su three projects to be funded by the FY23 Capital budget were vetoed by Governor Dunleavy. This would have been a $2.1m investment in multi-use recreation improvements for residents and visitors to enjoy. In total there were $14.5m worth of projects in Kenai, Fairbanks, Denali Northstar, and Anchorage in the budget and 7 projects around the Anchorage region were the ones that did not get axed. A silver lining exists for Mat-Su in that a reconnaissance study to connect Anchorage and the Valley through multi-modal means was passed. The fact that the Long Trail will be good for the Alaskan economy, good for residents and tourism, and will leverage other federal and state funding sources will continue to build support among Alaskans. There is still a lot of work ahead.
To find out more updates on the Alaska Long Trail visit: www.alaska-trails.org/the-alaska-long-trail
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While applying for their PFD online, Alaskans can choose to Pick.Click.Give. in increments of $25. All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive tax documentation from the State once their donations have been processed. Permanent Fund Dividend applications are available from January 1 to March 31, though Alaskans may choose to add or adjust their pledges online through August 31.
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