Public can weigh in on updates to Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau. December 2021. (Photo by Claire Stremple/KTOO)

The forest service is in the middle of a lengthy process that may lead to significant changes at the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area in Juneau. This month it released a document detailing the possible environmental impacts of different expansion options. The public has a chance to weigh in on those right now.

The original visitor center was built in the 1960s, but the glacier won’t be visible from there at all in a few decades. There’s also been a significant uptick in visitors since then. So the Forest Service has proposed expanded trails, a new welcome center and remote glacier facilities — plus motorized boat tours on the lake to get people closer to the receding ice.

A lengthy draft of the project’s environmental impact statement is available online, at Juneau public libraries and at the Mendenhall Visitor Center. A video summarizing the potential changes is available online.

The Forest Service will accept public comment until April 18. There’s also a chance to learn more and ask questions about the proposed work at an evening webinar on March 31.

Comments can be submitted online, via fax at 907-586-8808, or hand-delivered to 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, Alaska, 99801.

Claire Stremple

Alaska News Reporter, KTOO

I believe every Alaskan has a right to timely information about their health and health systems, and their natural environment and its management. My goal is to report thoughtful stories that inform, inspire and quench the curiosity of listeners across the state.

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