City OKs plans for commercial use of trails

Guidelines take into account responses to community survey

Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Juneau's Assembly endorsed a list of recommendations about commercial use of local trails at a meeting Monday.

The Trails Working Group includes representatives from the state, city, U.S. Forest Service, industry and public. The group has been working on the recommendations for more than two years and received about 800 responses to a community survey about the issue last year, chairwoman Cathy Muoz said. The recommendations will be forwarded to the agencies that handle permits for commercial groups, she said.

The plan allows commercial use on about 20 Juneau trails and sets out guidelines for commercial group size, frequency and hours, said James King, director of Trail Mix, a nonprofit trails group.

"We think it's a fair representation of what we heard from the public and a reasonable way to manage trails," he said.

As an example, the working group recommends Granite Creek Trail be closed to commercial use when repairs to extend Perseverance Trail are complete. Commercial use of Perseverance, which connects to Granite Creek, would be limited to the main trail bed with limits on group size and frequency. Both trails are in valleys behind downtown.

King said the plan doesn't leave a great deal of room for future commercial growth on Juneau's trails. The work points to the need for new trails in the community, he said.

Gastineau Guiding Co. owner and working group member Bob Janes said he doesn't agree with every decision, but the plan will help him as an operator.

"We have the assets, we just need the infrastructure to make it work," he said.

The Trails Working Group plans to review the recommendations every three years, King said.

Joanna Markell can be reached at

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