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Recreation Rivers: Talkeetna Public Scoping Workshop

 


 

Do you care about the Talkeetna River?

Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan

 

The Department of Natural Resources is holding a series of Public Scoping Workshops. The first of these workshops will be held in Talkeetna on June 15, 2022.


Join to make sure that your voice is heard in this public process.


The Susitna River Coalition believes that this scoping process should be postponed. It is occurring during the busiest time of the year for Southcentral Alaskan residents. They should occur during October (after hunting season) to December. The public has neither the time, nor the focus to provide good and adequate scoping comments.


The Division has not informed the public about what implementation of the plan recommendations, amendments, and any minor or major changes have happened during the over 30 year of the Plan’s existence. This updated background information is necessary for informed comments.


Show up, and let DNR know that Recreational Rivers are important and that protections need to remain in place and be enforced to allow proper management of our loved and well-used wild rivers.


Public Scoping Workshops, In-person



Public Scoping Workshops, Virtual


Comments can also be sent through this online form.

 


 

The Talkeetna River Sub-Unit

 

The Talkeetna River is one of 6 rivers designated as a Recreation River by the Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan. The Talkeetna River sub-unit runs from the river's confluence with the Susitna River to the upper Talkeetna River Canyon, 9.5 miles from Clear Creek. It includes the mouths of the Sheep River, Iron Creek, Disappointment Creek and Larson Creek. According to the Plan, the volume and velocity of the Talkeetna River is greater than the other 5 Recreation Rivers. The mean annual flows are 4,047 cfs.


The Talkeetna unit is made up of 4 subunits. Within these subunits, there are 6 Public Use Sites (PU). PU sites are areas of high public use with unique resource values. They are important access for fishing, camping recreation and other public uses and values. The maintenance of these Public Use areas are a high management priority, particularly for those of us that live and work in the area surrounding the Talkeetna.

 

Why Should We Care?

 

The Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan was designed as a tool for ongoing stewardship of the resources allowing targeted management in high use areas. Some of it's many purposes include:


  • Serving as a shoreline development guide to ensure that the projects are sited, designed and constructed to minimize degradation of water quality and impacts on recreation, navigation and fish and wildlife habitats.


  • Providing upland development guidelines for power-lines, pipelines, and airstrips to reduce potential safety hazards and impacts on fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, water quality and navigation.


  • ImplementingWildlife guidelines to reduce bear conflicts, and enhance habitat.


  • Providing Riparian guidelines to protect these areas from overuse and degradation.


The Plan’s legislatively mandated goal of maintenance and enhancement of the land and water for a variety of uses is protected using these guidelines.


The Recreation river process was started around 35 years ago in order to be reserved as a Special Purpose Area under the Alaska Constitution VII section 7 in response to the negative impacts occurring to those waterways. An incredible amount of thought, foresight, time, and energy was put into making this plan a reliable document for management, and the public should be aware of its benefits and reasons for change.


In May of 2022, the revision scoping period opened up for the Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan. The revision of the Recreation Rivers Management Plan will dictate the fate of these incredible rivers and shape the future of the greater Susitna Watershed.


The Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan is still as valuable today as it was during its initial formation. A great amount of time and energy went into this plan. A close reading of the plan shows guidelines for human development that can co-exist with fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, public enjoyment, economic use, multiple use of the uplands and accommodation of access.


The Plan does not stop oil and gas leasing, earth material extraction, logging, or agriculture in the watershed. There are some restrictions on developments such as no new land disposals in the corridors, no dams, and no new mining claims.


Revising the Susitna Basin Recreation Rivers Management Plan has the potential to decrease the level of fish habitat mitigation and necessary permitting required for development projects around these waterways resulting in deleterious effects on fish and wildlife habitat.


 

MEA Board Seat Opening:

Susitna East District

 

Matanuska Electric Association has a new Board seat open for the Susitna East District!


Are you passionate about responsible renewable energy and want to help your community handle issues such as rising electricity bills and reoccurring power outages?


If you live in the Wasilla area between Church Rd and Seward-Meridian Pkwy and you are an MEA member (you pay MEA bills), you have the opportunity to apply for the vacant seat on the member-led electric co-op Board of Directors.


As a member of the board of directors you have the capacity to represent co-op members and work with the MEA management to improve the railbelt energy system and make sure harmful projects like the Watana Susitna Dam is never built.


If you or anyone you know is interested, applications are due by July 5th. Find out more about applying here.

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