December 9, 2013
by Brian Okonek
After 40 years of proposals to develop a visitor center somewhere within Denali State Park, work began in 2013 on the South Denali Visitor Center Complex (SDVCC). A ground breaking ceremony this past fall included the major agency partners in the project, which are the State of Alaska’s Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and the National Park Service (Denali National Park and Preserve). Initial work on Phase 1 included construction of a road, approximately one-and-a-half miles in length that leaves the George Parks Highway at Milepost 135.4, and the extension of electrical power up the Parks Highway to the site. The road will lead to other Phase 1 facilities to be completed in 2014, including a 35-site RV campground, 22-site day-use parking lot, maintenance/ranger office, and interpretive trail.
When additional funding is secured, Phase 2 will extend the road another three miles to a tree-line site where a proposed destination-oriented visitor center and trails will Read more
October 29, 2013
Read about DCC’s oral arguments on gas development near Denali National Park in Alaska’s Supreme Court, learn more about a proposed gasline down the Parks Highway, hear from our new board member Michael Raffaeli and Denali National Park’s new NPS Biologist Steve Arthur, and learn the issues and interests at play as we plan our Fall 2013 Board Retreat.
Denali National Park Aircraft Overflights Advisory Council to meet this Friday in Anchorage – December 3, 2010
November 28, 2010
Campbell Creek Science Center located at 5500 Science Center Drive in Anchorage
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
DCC Members who find themselves in Anchorage this Friday should plan to drop in for all or part of this meeting. For directions or an agenda, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The meeting is open to the public and has time allocated for public testimony. You may submit written and/or oral comments.
Why the need for an Overflights Advisory Council During the planning process to complete the 2006 Denali National Park & Preserve Backcountry Management Plan, the public identified impacts from aircraft overflights and airplane landings as a critical issue. While aircraft are an important means of visitor access to remote areas of the park, overflights and landings have resulted in substantial changes in the natural sound environment and have generated new conflicts with park users on the ground. In order to identify efforts that should be made to reduce impacts from aircraft overflights, the Overflights Advisory Council was created. The council will advise the Secretary of the Interior on measures for achieving desired future resource conditions as outlined in the Backcountry Management Plan. The Council will also develop voluntary measures for assuring the safety of passengers, pilots, and mountaineers.
The Council formed in 2007 and has already met 8 times, convening meetings in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali and Talkeetna. Items of interest on the agenda usually include presentations by the soundscape specialists from Denali National Park. The park is, at present, analyzing its entire soundscape and the council has identified certain “hotspots” or problem areas where non-natural sound may be a factor in resource integrity. The Council promotes education and awareness of this issue, and works together with commercial air service providers and park staff to develop solutions.
Additonal information on the Overflights Advisory Council is available at: http://www.nps.gov/dena/parkmgmt/aoac.htm If you have any questions about the meeting, contact Nancy Bale at 907-277-3825. I am a member of the Council, representing local environmental interests. You may email me, too at email@example.com.
October 26, 2008
The Boy Scouts received some support from key public officials supporting this proposal for a bridge to access their property south of Denali State Park. The project eventually languished.
March 3, 2008
The future location of a major Visitor Center nearby promoted this small hotel development. We argued that this particular proposal was not consistent with Denali State Park development guidelines.
November 15, 2005
In the past, DCC had favored a visitor center at Tokositna overlook, accessed from Trapper Creek. Over time and with a consideration of the impacts to local residents, we changed our position and supported a new visitor center closer to the Parks Highway.