Recreation and Parks Association annual conference

Issues and concerns on land use and trail issues. Look here for recent articles related to these two concerns

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Darrell
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:03 am
Location: Nordale Road area

Recreation and Parks Association annual conference

#1 Post by Darrell » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:34 pm

Endangered trails

March 27, 2006

To the editor:

Do you realize that the regional trail system that connects our neighborhoods to outlying communities, nearby rivers and countless historic sites is being obliterated by the rising tide of suburban sprawl and land development?

Whether you fly overhead, look out your car window, read the paper or take in Borough Assembly meetings, the trend is obvious.

This town is booming and rapidly in a rush to become just like everywhere else. Trails of all kinds connect neighborhoods, the corner store or tavern and the natural landscapes of this place. More than an amenity, these trails are key features in the quality of life and sense of place for most of us.

We can respect the exclusive rights of private property ownership and at the same time realize the importance of public rights of free access to long-used trails.

The Borough Trails Advisory Commission has been working to protect trails but has had limited success. Some trails do have some protection from new subdivisions thanks to Title 17 in the Borough Code. The problem is that very few trails, whether listed in the Trails Plan or not, have dedicated public use easements. The borough does not have a recreational trails staff position. They should. Even the world-famous Equinox Marathon Trail used since the 1960s is not protected as it crosses scores of privately owned parcels.

Two current House bills come into play in contrasting ways. HB 415 would clarify and strengthen private landowner immunity in tort claims for allowing use of land for non-commercial public recreational activities. HB 318, co-sponsored by many of our local representatives, is an absurd over-reaction to the expansion of application of eminent domain back East. This bill would drastically reduce the already tightly constrained use of eminent domain in this borough and take away a valuable tool to preserve segments of recreational trails and public access to waterways.

The Alaska Recreation and Parks Association annual conference will take place in Fairbanks from April 5-8 and is chock-full of trails presentations that will inform and raise the level of debate here.

Steve Ulvi

Fairbanks



Darrell
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:03 am
Location: Nordale Road area

Trails Conference April 4 thru 7

#2 Post by Darrell » Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:57 pm




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