Commission to consider 'cableway tour experience'

Posted: Monday, January 09, 2006

A summer tree canopy "cableway tour experience" will go before planning commissioners Tuesday night.

A permit to allow the conditional use is being recommended for the recreation aerial conveyance proposed by Alaska Canopy Adventures on Douglas Island. Planner Susana Montana's conditions on the recommendation for the zip line tour include steps that would avoid conditioning bears to food that people bring in and otherwise keeping the site clean.

The 34-acre site for the project, from the Gastineau Channel beach at sea level to about 1,800 feet on the Mount Bradley hillside, encompasses the western third of the former Treadwell Mine property. It is covered with mature trees and undergrowth with creeks, steep slopes and mining-related pits.

Aerial cables would be attached to existing mature trees, and facilities would be removed at the end of the tour season. As proposed, a tour would consist of transport across the channel from Juneau to the site, where guests would board six-wheel all-terrain vehicles up the Treadwell Trail, en route to the aerial-cable starting point.

Guests would glide along a series of zip lines, sky bridges and viewing sites along the aerial course, with guides pointing out historic relics below.

Montana wrote that because access would be by boat, neighbors to the east and west would not be disturbed by project operations. Treadwell Trail hikers from St. Anns Avenue would be allowed to traverse the lower portion of the zip line tour site, but they would not be able to traverse the aerial tour course up the hill.

If the non-tour hikers interfere with tour traffic, the operators would relocate the trail to the lower beach.

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