The Stampede Trail and surrounding Wolf Townships are important for recreation and wildlife habitat. Debates over this area stretch back to ANILCA and before. In the past 3 state legislatures, bills to create a Stampede State Recreation Area have been introduced. Establishment of this new recreation area has been a high priority for DCC and the Denali Borough, but success will require a long-term educational effort. In the interim, we are pursuing reasonable management through the Yukon-Tanana Area Plan including a step-down Recreation Management Plan, the reestablishment of a buffer zone that is closed to the taking of wolves, and the removal of the area from the Healy Basin Gas-Only Exploration License awarded to Usibelli Coal Mine.
Stampede State Recreation Area
Alaska state Senators and Representatives have introduced bills to establish the Stampede State Recreation Area in the past 3 legislatures. The current bill, HB 148, has only been introduced in the House, and will be considered in the 2014 legislative session. You can read the bill and past Denali Borough resolutions supporting the Stampede SRA at the links below.
Why a Stampede State Recreation Area?
Why should there be a State Recreation Area in the Wolf Townships, along the Stampede Road?
- Protection of existing recreational uses, particularly for locals and Alaskans;
- Mitigation of overuse impacts resulting from too many people using unmanaged land;
- Conservation of important seasonal wildlife habitat for animals that live in the park and are seen by visitors along the Denali park road.
What are the threats to Wolf Townships?
The January/February 2010 issue of the DCC newsletter contained a brief recent history of schemes and scams for the Wolf Townships. Read the article by Panguingue resident and DCC board member Hannah Ragland on page 8 of the January-February 2010 DCC News.
Why a State Recreation Area instead of something else?
DCC and Denali Borough government officials spent a lot of time considering a recommendation for the townships. After two Stampede Summits and many Assembly meetings, the Recreation Area proposal emerged as the best option since the state Division of State Parks was deemed the best management agency for the area but the establishment of new state park was politically unrealistic. State Game Refuges are managed by the Department of Fish and Game, which was felt not to be the appropriate agency for addressing recreational uses and impacts. Public Use Areas are managed by the DNR Division of Mining, Land, and Water which also seemed not to be the agency with the best resources for managing recreation.
Now is the time to show a groundswell of support for the new Recreation Area. Particularly important is sending letters of support to your legislators. You can obtain physical addresses and phone numbers for all legislators at this link:
For e-mail addresses, you must go to a different page:
PLEASE send copies of your letters to Representative David Guttenberg. They introduced these bills and will be principally responsible for ferrying them through the legislature. It helps them greatly to be able to cite wide support. If you only send your letter to two places, these are the two. However, it is also useful for legislators to know this is an issue of statewide importance and concern.
Friends of Stampede
DCC is also supporting a new organization, the Friends of Stampede, which is seeking to improve management of the Stampede area whether both through the Recreation Area establishment and through volunteer action. Friends of Stampede is a new citizens organization that is leading the charge for better management of land in the Wolf Townships/Stampede Trail corridor. This new group needs your help! Contact them e-mail by clicking this link, or call 683-0333.