Residents may find it easier to avoid tour groups on Juneau trails now that the Juneau Assembly has barred commercial use in some areas.
On Monday, the Assembly approved an advisory group's recommendations for commercial trail use. The city will allow no commercial use of the Fritz Cove Road parking area, Kaxdigoowu Heen Dei (near the Brotherhood Bridge) and Dimond Park Bridge. The trail advisory group determined that the Kaxdigoowu Heen Dei and Dimond Park Bridge area already are congested.
To lessen the traffic on Perseverance Trail, the city will open Red Mill and Glory Hole trails, new additions to the Perseverance Trail system, to commercial use.
Herbert Glacier Trail, which is open to commercial use Monday through Thursday, will be open to it Friday as well. Groups of up to eight people on tours will be able to use the trail on Saturday and Sunday.
The advisory group also recommended that the Assembly study Salmon Creek Delta and the Airport Dike Trail for wildlife viewing areas.
The Assembly created the trails working group in 2000 because the increasing commercial use of trails was diminishing recreational users' experience. The Assembly wanted the group to provide guidance to commercial operators.
The group is composed of representatives from the Assembly, U.S. Forest Service, city Parks and Recreation, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and business owners and residents. In 2001, group members identified all the trails in Juneau, eliminated trails that were inappropriate for commercial use and evaluated effects of commercial use on each remaining trail.
In the winter of 2003, the group met again to review and update existing recommendations. The Assembly, Alaska State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service will use recommendations as guidelines when issuing permits.
I-Chun Che can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.