The U.S. Forest Service wants your input on improving three recreation sites in Juneau.
Public comment on projects at the Lena Beach Recreation Area, the West Glacier Spur Road and Treadwell Ditch Trail are due in a week.
Lena Beach improvements include rebuilding five shelters, upgrading outhouses, paving the road and making it one-way, and improving the fish passage up Picnic Creek.
Ed Grossman is the recreation manager for the Juneau Ranger District. He says the shelters at Lena Beach were built in the 1950s. Besides routine maintenance and repairs, the Forest Service has not done any major improvements in a long time.
“We consider it a very tired, old recreation site and there’s been no significant enhancements there in 20 years, at least,” Grossman says.
The Forest Service also wants to implement volunteers who live at the site, which Grossman hopes will reduce ongoing issues that occur at Lena Beach.
“Drug dealing, vandalism of shelters, burning of pallets which are not allowed there, dumping litter on the beach, dumping garbage, televisions, vehicles off the road – you name it and it probably happens there. Many people aren’t aware of it because it happens well after dark and we clean it up,” Grossman says.
On the West Glacier Spur Road, the Forest Service plans to extend the bike and pedestrian trail a half mile. Grossman says up to 30,000 tourists participate in activities, like bicycle and kayak tours, off the Spur Road.
“And what’s happening is all these people are pouring out into the roadway near the campground along with all the buses and vans and other vehicles servicing the industry, plus the locals,” Grossman says.
The Forest Service also wants to hear from the public on various improvements to the Treadwell Ditch Trail, including hardening the section above the Bonnie Brae subdivision.
Money for the projects comes from the Federal Lands Access Program through the Federal Highway Administration, with matching funds from the Forest Service.
Construction is expected to begin in 2015 and last up to two years.
Public comments are due April 18.