Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 07:49 PM AKST

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Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board recruiting new members

RecreationThe Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is seeking candidates to fill two board positions on the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board (ORTAB), one representing diversified trail users from Western/ Southwestern Alaska, and one representing the motorized trail community statewide. In addition to these special knowledge areas, applicants should have knowledge, experience and interest in outdoor recreation and grant-funded programs.

The primary role of the ORTAB is to assist in evaluating grant proposals for the Recreational Trail Grant and Land and Water Conservation Fund programs. ORTAB members may also be asked for advice on other outdoor recreation related subjects.

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Expanded Knik River Public Use Area Shooting Range opens Aug. 22

RecreationThe Knik River Public Use Area Shooting Range will reopen to the public on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 10am following the completion of its Phase II expansion.

Improvements at the range, located at Mile 2.6 of the Maud Road Extension near Palmer, include 18 lanes of fire on the expanded 100-yard rifle range, 12 lanes of fire on the new 25-yard pistol range, covered firing lines, enhanced safety barriers and informational kiosks. Other new features include improved access for disabled users, expanded parking and paving of the access road.

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Alaska Trails Program to hold teleconferences to assist grant applicants

Recreation New or experienced applicants for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant program are invited to join two teleconferences on Tuesday, September 1, and Tuesday October 6. Both teleconferences will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Topics include: program guidelines and restrictions; what constitutes a successful application; project eligibility and deadlines; the role of the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board; reporting and billing requirements; how to put together a successful budget; how to create a feasible schedule; the new applicable CFR 200; and how to know if you need to fill out an Environmental Review Checklist.

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SnowTRAC annual meeting scheduled for Aug. 26

RecreationThe Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council (SnowTRAC) will hold its annual advisory meeting/teleconference on August 26 in Anchorage. The meeting will be held 8:30-4:30 p.m., in Conference Room 102 on the first floor of the Atwood Building, located at 550 W 7th Ave. The agenda will include discussion of various SnowTRAC issues as well as review of grant applications and trail grooming requests.

SnowTRAC consists of seven members who are regionally selected from areas across Alaska. The primary purpose of the group is to advise the director of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation on funding for eligible grant projects under the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program. The Snowmobile Trails Grant Program is funded through legislative authorization to receive funds from snowmobile point-of-sale registration fees. These funds are used to support snowmobile trail development and maintenance, as well as snowmobile safety and education programs.

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Campfire ban relaxed in most State Park areas

Recreation Effective immediately, the prohibition on open fires in the metal fire rings located in developed camp and picnic sites is no longer in effect in Chugach State Park, Wood Tikchik State Park and state parks located in the Northern and Kenai Areas. Open fires on gravel bars below timberline in the Eklutna, Peters, Creek, Eagle River (excluding South Fork and Meadow Cr.) and Bird Creek drainages within Chugach State Park are allowed as are open fires on gravel bars within Wood Tikchik State Park.

Open fires are allowed in most Mat-Su Area parks with the exception of backcountry campsites within the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, and on gravel bars in Denali State Park.

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Mat-Su Area State Parks relaxes campfire ban in certain areas

RecreationMat-Su Area State Parks relaxes campfire ban in certain areas

Effective immediately, the following Mat-Su State Park units are open to campfires in metal grate fire pits only:

• Big Lake North and Big Lake South state recreation areas
• Rocky Lake State Recreation Site
• Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and Nancy Lake State Recreation Site
• Willow Creek State Recreation Area
• Denali State Park

The ban on campfires remains in effect for the Little Susitna Public Use Facility, backcountry camping at Nancy Lake SRA and gravel bars in Denali State Park.

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Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board recruiting for board position

RecreationThe Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is seeking candidates to fill one open board position on the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board (ORTAB) representing people experiencing disabilities. Applicants should have special knowledge, experience, or interest in outdoor recreation and accessibility needs for all trail users.

The primary role of the ORTAB is to assist the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation in evaluating grant proposals for the Recreational Trail Grant and Land and Water Conservation Fund programs. ORTAB members may also be asked for advice on other related subjects, which may include the review of proposals for State Park land acquisitions.

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Operation Dry Water

RecreationAlaska Wildlife Troopers are gearing up for the sixth annual heightened awareness and educational campaign, Operation Dry Water. This weekend, from June 26 through June 28,

Troopers will be out on the waterways specifically to contact boaters to make sure all vessel operators are not impaired.

Last year during Operation Dry Water, 38 Troopers across the state put 387 hours toward the heightened enforcement efforts. Troopers patrolled the lakes and rivers in the Mat-Su area, Kenai Peninsula, salt water areas of Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, and Kodiak. In addition, Troopers spent time on the Kuskokwim River from Bethel to Aniak and as well as the Chena and Tanana Rivers in the Fairbanks area.

From June 27 – 29, 2014, Troopers conducted the following:

686 vessels and 2211 boaters were contacted
33 citation were issued and 106 warnings were provided for recreational boating offenses
Field sobriety tests were conducted on a number of boaters, the highest BAC recorded was .067, and no boaters were arrested for BUI
In addition, 56 fishing offenses and 2 other offenses were identified.

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Keep Big Lake Clean!

RecreationAs Alaskans from all over come to Big Lake on sunny weekends, the amount of gas and oil in the lake increases to a dangerous level for fish and other aquatic life. Luckily, there are some things that we can do as boaters to take action and decrease the pollution in Big Lake.
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New members sought for Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council

Recreation(Anchorage, AK) The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is inviting interested individuals to apply to join the Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council (SnowTRAC). There are three vacant seats to be filled on the nine member board, one of which represents the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez and Prince William Sound, and the other two seats representing Western Alaska and Southeast Alaska. The terms for these positions will expire February 28, 2018.

SnowTRAC members assist the division director by providing a diverse and informed analysis of grant proposals and by making funding recommendations for the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program. This statewide grant program provides reimbursable, matching grant funds for trail easement acquisition, development and maintenance of trails and trail-related facilities for snowmobile use. The division is seeking individuals with special knowledge, experience, and interest in snowmobile use and in grant-funded programs. Council members serve a three-year term participating in meetings or teleconferences at a minimum of once a year or as necessary.

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Independence Mine State Historical Park opens on June 13th

Recreation(Palmer, AK) – Alaska State Parks is pleased to announce that the Independence Mine State Historical Park and visitor center will open to the public on Saturday, June 13. The visitor center will offer tours on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day. The road to the visitor center and mine complex will open at 9 a.m. and close at 9 p.m., seven days a week.
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Alaska State Park Campground Openings

RecreationFrom the DNR: (Anchorage, AK) - Spring is coming early to Alaska and we know everyone is anxious to start using our State Parks. The majority of our campgrounds will open mid-May when we have camp host in place and the facilities have been made ready for use.

You can go to this web site to see when your favorite campground is scheduled to open: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/open.htm

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State Seeking Contractor to Operate Finger Lake State Recreation Site

RecreationThe State of Alaska, Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for a qualified entity to obtain an exclusive competitive permit for commercial activities to operate park facilities at Finger Lake State Recreation Site. Finger Lake State Recreation Site is located at Mile 0.7 Bogard Road in Wasilla. The site offers a quiet retreat with 24 campsites, 2 group campsites, 25 picnic sites, water, toilets, and a boat launch.

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Nancy Lake State Recreation Area closed to snowmobile use

Recreation(Willow, AK) – Due to deteriorated snow conditions, including large areas of bare ground, Nancy Lake State Recreation Area will be closed to the use of snowmobiles effective Friday, March 27. This closure includes that portion of the East Side Butterfly Lake Swamp trail located within the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and the East Red Shirt Lake trail.

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Big Lake WinterFest this Weekend

RecreationThe Big Lake WinterFest is happening this Weekend. "Celebrating the Ice -- Saturday and Sunday, March 21 & 22, 2015"

Ice Fishing Derby: 2 days of fishing on the Ice
$6000 in cash and prizes that includes a KIDS Category!

Step in to the Beer Garden Hosted by the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce for a refreshing brew and LIVE Entertainment!



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