Snowmobile club seeks Eaglecrest land access

Group proposes use path near Ptarmigan chairlift to reach trails

Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Juneau Snowmobile Club wants more room to ride and is proposing to use Eaglecrest Ski Resort to expand its playground.

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The 80-plus member club has submitted a written proposal to the public resort's board asking to cross parts of Eaglecrest to reach popular snowmobiling areas.

"With limited land open to motorized use, the Juneau Snowmobile Club is in search of more opportunities," says the proposal, prepared by club President Ray Howard.

The club proposes:

• Using a designated portion of the ski resort's parking lot and access through Eaglecrest via a trail to the Fish Creek Valley and the Mount Troy area. The club would provide materials and labor to construct the trail, which would run on the northeast side of the present cross-country trails.

• Use of the Eaglecrest property from the Ptarmigan chairlift toward the northwest after the end of ski season. This area would be used to access the Dan Moller recreation area, which is open to motorized use.

• The group is also seeking permission to host an annual snowmobile race, which would take place in the corridor from the Ptarmigan lift and to the northwest.

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Snowmobile use is prohibited by city ordinance, which means that before it can be allowed, it must receive blessings from both the Eaglecrest board and the Juneau Assembly, said Jim Calvin, Eaglecrest board president.

"First we consider all the merits of the proposal, the potential benefits, the costs, the impacts on users," he said. "Our first step it the process will be to solicit input from all the various affected parties."

How likely is the proposal to be approved?

"I think there will be a fair amount of opposition from the skiing community," he said. "Whether there is room for compromise, it is too soon to tell."

The policy committee of the board is slated to review the proposal during its next meeting the first week of April.

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