SEAtrails received $454,813 in the 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Act under the Public Lands Highways Discretionary Program and has entered into an agreement with the Western Federal Lands division of the Highway Administration and the U.S. Forest Service Alaska Region.
Sen. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, included the appropriation in the Senate transportation budget that will enable the Southeast Alaska Trail System, called SEAtrails, to begin developing trail maps, information, promotional materials and a strategic plan.
The appropriation also provides funds for establishing a grant program for local trail projects. SEAtrails was established to facilitate planning, construction, and maintenance of a region-wide, Southeast Alaska trail system. This system promotes economic development by improving recreational opportunities for cyclists, hikers, kayakers, SCUBA divers and others.
Alaska's Marine Highway System provides the basic transportation links for SEAtrails. The group includes representatives from local governments, village councils, trail organizations, businesses, state and federal agencies.
SEAtrails is a grass root trail organization that represents a coalition among the communities, businesses, organizations and agencies involved.
To date, 16 communities have joined through formal resolutions of support. Several convention and visitor bureaus and trail organizations, as well as the Southeast Conference, Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association and Alaska Recreation and Park Association, have endorsed the establishment of SEAtrails.
For more information, visit www.seatrails.org. Or contact Davey Lubin in Sitka at (907) 747-6481 or Amber Guy in Douglas at (907) 364-2427.