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March-April DCC News is now online

May 23, 2015

More-buses-webRead our special transportation issue, posted at the link below.

DCC News Mar-Apr 2015

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NPS releases report on trial Winter Road opening at Denali

May 20, 2015

Winter-plowing-coverIn 2014, after completing an Environmental Assessment in 2013, Denali National Park began plowing the road earlier, starting February 1st and continuing on into the spring season when the road is normally cleared.  The early plowing began at park headquarters and ended at the Mt. Vista Rest Stop, where there is a parking lot.

This activity was considered to be a “trial” for 3 – 5 years, while staff would monitor impact on financial and natural resources and visitor experience.  The report attached to this post describes monitoring done by NPS during the 2014 and 2015 seasons of early opening.

Originally, it appeared that early opening of the park road was done to accommodate commercial tourism, including winter visitors brought on tour buses from Fairbanks. So far, most of the use appears to have been by private vehicles and vans, and commercial use, for whatever reason, has not been dominant.

DCC’s concerns have included impacts on wildlife who inhabit this area of the park (including two known wolf dens), impacts on access by local mushers and skiers, and incremental advance of sophisticated infrastructure into the designated Wilderness core park. In particular, we opposed any noise-making infrastructure, such as generators to support plug-ins, for example, at the Mt. Vista rest stop.

This report is illuminating and we recommend clicking on the link below to read it. The report is large and will take a little time to download.

Monitoring Report on Winter Road Plowing

 

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Transportation Needs in Denali Up For Comment (Again)

October 28, 2014

Transportation in Denali?The National Park Service has recently released scoping questions in order to guide comments on Denali’s proposed Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).  The purpose of the LRTP is to develop a 10-year vision of what transportation should look like in the future of Denali National Park, in order to guide future management decisions. At the meeting, a presentation by NPS on September 24, 2014 explained the reasoning for this plan, and specified comments that would be helpful (click link to see PDF of slide show DENA 148600A Public Scoping 092914 post (2)).  An additional memo (click link to see memo: Foreseeable Future Nearby Projects 09.22.2014) was provided at the meeting for anyone interested. It includes what development is proposed in the park presently (and in the near future). Any additional infrastructure development would require additional public process and regulations.  Comment guidelines are wide open, with opportunities for all individuals to suggest ideas about what transportation to and in Denali National Park and Preserve will be in the future.  The three over-arching questions include:

·      Ten years from now, what would you like transportation within the park and its gateway communities to look like?

·      What would you like to see the park focus on in a long range transportation plan?

·      What about transportation is important to you when entering, using, or leaving the park?
We encourage members to consider several topics in addition to overall management of transportation requested by NPS, including winter and shoulder season access and use, and affordability.  Individuals are encouraged to submit comments to NPS as soon as possible, with comment review by NPS occurring in mid- to late-November.

The specific questions that NPS is hoping for a response on can be seen here. Read more

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DCC News – Summer 2014 issue is now on line

August 7, 2014

 

Our summer newsletter welcomes new DCC officers and issues.  Read it at the link below.

DCC Summer 2014 NL

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March-April 2014 DCC News is online!

May 24, 2014

Read the latest local and regional news, including a recap of the state legislative session, Denali Borough land planning, and Denali Park management.

DCC News -Mar-Apr 2014

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DCC asks for changes to Denali Park Road Winter Plowing proposal

March 18, 2013

park roadThree board members from DCC recently submitted comments on the NPS proposed action of plowing Mile 3 to Mile 12 of the park road, starting February 15th, in order to increase opportunities for motorized sightseeing during the winter season.  Normally the road opens to Mile 12, the Mountain Vista Rest Stop, by late March, and is on track to do so this spring.

Our comments pointed out that NPS had not analyzed thoroughly all the impacts of this action or how it could lead, incrementally, to resource damage.  We suggested some changes in the Preferred Alternative and advised NPS not to take any action until deficiencies in the EA are corrected.  We were especially concerned about impacts to wildlife and existing non-motorized users, including the park kennels. To read our detailed comment letter, click the link below.

Denali Winter Plowing EA- DCC Comments – March 2013

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DCC supports NPS wildlife regulations in Compendium

February 25, 2013

On January 15th, DCC submitted comments to the National Park Service supporting most of the proposed compendium revisions for Denali National Park. The Superintendent’s Compendium, revised yearly, is a written compilation of designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions that can be instituted under each superintendent’s discretionary authority. This year, the Denali Compendium banned several hunting practices that could be used in the Denali Preserves. These practices, recently adopted by the Alaska Board of Game, were deemed to be in opposition to the legislated purpose of the national parks, to wit, to preserve wildlife in its natural diversity.  We commented on a few other compendium provisions also, including restrictions on firearms, allowing areas for first amendement activities in the park and the Cantwell resident zone.  Read a full copy of our comments at the link below.

DCC 2013 Compendium Comments

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DCC suggests changes in Final Denali Vehicle Management Plan

July 21, 2012

A transit bus pauses below Stony Overlook on a clear day

(Read our comments at;
DCC Comments on Final Vehicle Management Plan 7-20-12)

When the Final Denali Vehicle Management Plan was released on June 29, 2012, three DCC board members read and analyzed it for changes reflecting ours and others’ concerns.

We’d been told that there would be a daily vehicle limit in the plan, as a response to public concerns about operating the plan under no fixed limit.  We appreciated this effort on the part of NPS. However, the limit provided in the plan, 160 vehicles per day, is so high as to be virtually un-testable in the near future and we felt that, because it had been so rarely actually experienced on the park road it was not sufficiently vetted using indicators, standards and the new traffic scheduling model. We told NPS that a daily limit is a positive step, but the limit should be more conservative and that the structuring of the limit was not adequately covered in the Final plan and should be submitted to further analysis and NEPA compliance.

In addition, although we appreciated many features in the Final plan, we let NPS know that other aspects of the plan did not, in our opinion, meet plan goals and needed reconsideration, including:

  1. Insufficient support for transit priority and affordability in the plan
  2. Removal of caps on day-tours to Kantishna
  3. Removal of the camper bus
  4. Absence of “bus parked standards” for Polychrome and Stony
  5. No language indicating how NPS will move to institute more equitable marketing for both tour and transit.
  6. Absence of analysis of infrastructural and roadside impacts of the plan.

To read our detailed comments, click the link below:
DCC Comments on Final Vehicle Management Plan 7-20-12

You can comment on this plan until July 30th at:
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=9&projectID=22494&documentID=48231

Or comment by email to Denali_Superintendent@nps.gov.

Since this is a Final EIS, we are not certain how NPS will use our comments. However, there is nothing to prevent their accepting suggestions and including them in the Record of Decision, a document that finalizes the plan and can be posted 30 days after the Final EIS is released to the public.

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Read our May-June DCC News

June 24, 2012

Our latest newsletter contains articles on our Healy Gas Appeal, Denali’s Wolves, Sustina-Watana Hydro, our Annual Meeting, and Nancy’s recent trip into the park. Click below to view it online.

May-June DCC News

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DCC Annual Meeting keeps the conversation going

May 29, 2012

We enjoyed desserts, beverages, door prizes (thanks Julia for the hats), and conversation on our important issues of concern on Memorial Day evening this year. The Denali Education Center provided the perfect location on this balmy spring evening to catch up with friends old and new and let you know up-to-the minute information.  Over 30 folks enjoyed the evening and shared information and concern over topics as widely disparate as coal plant permitting, wolf trapping and habitat and vehicle management on the Park Road.  We appreciate our generous and loyal members. The spring membership drive continues in high gear….keep in touch on mail@denalicitizens.org.

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March-April DCC News is now Online

May 29, 2012

Learn the latest information about the Board of Game decisions this past spring and DCC’s involvement in the clean air permitting of the Healy Clean Coal Plant near Healy. Erica Watson interprets the recent JPARC EIS, and we say goodbye to our long-serving Community Organizer Julia.

March-April 2012 DCC News

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View Nov-Dec DCC News online

December 11, 2011

Our end of year issue covers the controversial Fish and Game issues now before the local Denali Advisory Committee, the work of the Denali Aircraft Overflights Advisory Council, reaction to our comments on the Draft Denali Vehicle Management Plan, Poetry from Louise Gallop, and local projects such as Eva Creek Wind Power and the Neon ecological monitoring site.  Click on the link to read the newsletter. Members receive a paper copy in the mail.

Nov Dec DCC News – 2011

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