ANCHORAGE - A new federal/state visitor center in the planning stages for an area near Tok, just 91 miles from the Canadian border, has moved another step forward toward welcoming upward of 100,000 visitors annually.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said July 11 that they recently purchased 8.3 acres of private land along the Alaska Highway, about a mile east of the junction of the Alaska and the Glenn highways.
The proposed 9,000-square-foot Alaska Public Lands Information Center will include a 6,800-square-foot visitor center with interpretive and informational exhibits, traveler rest area, interpretive trail and parking area. Officials said they have not yet determined the cost.
The center would serve as a year-round rest and information facility for people traveling the Glenn Highway to Anchorage, the Taylor Highway into the Fortymile Country/Dawson City, Canada, or those continuing on the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks.
"We hope it will not only serve the summer visitors, but Alaska residents as well, at they go into the Yukon and points beyond," said Heather Johnson, supervisory park ranger at the nearby Tetlin Wildlife Refuge. "We are developing a new film to be shown there and an exhibit area, and study classroom for environmental education."
The center would also work closely with the existing Tok Mainstreet Visitor Center, operated seasonally by the Tok Chamber of Commerce.