Funding for the Alaska Long Trail

Since 2020, Alaska Trails and the Alaska Long Trail Coalition has identified and advocated for key Long Trail shovel-ready or planning-ready projects along the length of the trail. Partners and parties consulted included: numerous cities and boroughs; Alaska DNR (Divisions of Parks and Outdoor Recreation; Forestry; and Mining, Land & Water); Alaska DOT; Alaska Department of Fish & Game; US Forest Service (Chugach National Forest); Denali National Park; NPS Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA); Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area (KTMTA), representatives of regional tourism marketing organizations and individual tourism businesses; non-profit regional trails organizations, user groups and individual trail users.

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7 Long Trail projects included in state capital budget FY2023!

The Long Trail has received outstanding bipartisan support across user groups and geographical regions. Alaska Trails and partners worked together in winter-spring 2022 legislative session to secure funding for Alaska Long Trail projects in the FY2023 state capital budget. As a result, the bipartisan state legislature passed its FY2023 budget to include all 15 Alaska Long Trail projects we advocated for. 

On June 28th, 2022, Governor Dunleavy approved $4.22M for 7 of those 15 projects!

These approved 7 projects are #8-14 on the map and in the table below. They range from:

  • building new non-motorized trails (#12)

  • building essential bridge connections (#14)

  • reconnaissance studies to identify links between existing segments (#8)

  • existing trail improvements (#10, 11, 13)

  • wayfinding and safety improvements (#9)

While the Governor vetoed the other 8 projects, we see this outcome as a glass half-full. This clearly demonstrates that trails are for everyone, a good investment, and something we can all agree on. We are ready to continue the work to secure funding for those projects.

 

 

Alaska Trails and our Long Trail Coalition partners are grateful to everyone who supported this effort over the last six months with donations, letters of support, Facebook shares, good vibes, etc.

We are especially grateful to the state legislature and particularly to Senator Bill Wielechowski and Senator Tom Begich. We also very much appreciate the Governor's recognition that this trail is a great new opportunity for outdoor recreation in Alaska!

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Winter biking on the trails at Campbell Tract. Photo by Bob Wick (BLM).jpg

© Bob Wick, BLM

State-level Funding Efforts

2021

February - Governor Dunleavy included $13.2M in trail projects for the Alaska Long Trail as part of his proposed General Obligation bond, recognizing the value of this project for Alaska's economy.

June  - the Legislature included $13.2M for the Long Trail projects in the capital budget.

July  - Governor Dunleavy vetoed the Long Trail projects in the capital budget, along with more than $300M of other capital projects, as part of still unresolved statewide budget issues. We want to commend the Governor on including the project in his proposed General Obligation bond, and we hope to see funding for the Alaska Long Trail in 2022.

2022

February - Alaska Long Trail Coalition submitted 15 projects for consideration for the state capital budget.

May - Legislature included 15 Alaska Long Trail projects in the draft state capital budget FY2023.

June - Governor Dunleavy approves 7 Alaska Long Trail projects in FY2023 state capital budget.​​

Helpful Resources

 

Resolutions and Support

Numerous organizations, agencies, local governments, and individuals expressed support for the Alaska Long Trail in the past year. Here is the list of organizations, agencies, and local governments that have sent letters of support, passed resolutions, and provided direct testimony at legislative meetings in support of the Alaska Long Trail thus far.

  • Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA)

  • Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly

  • Denali Borough Assembly

  • Mat-Su Borough Assembly

  • Anchorage Assembly

  • City of Seward

  • Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)

  • Explore Fairbanks

  • National Park Service

  • Kenai Mountains – Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area (KMTA)

  • Girdwood Board of Supervisors

  • Latitude 61 Girdwood

  • Anchorage Park Foundation

  • Alaska Huts Association (AHA)

  • Alaska Trails

  • Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

  • Interior Trails Quarterly

  • Fairbanks Cycle Club

  • Nordic Ski Club Fairbanks

  • Interior Trails Preservation Coalition

  • Skeetawk, Hatcher Alpine Xperience

  • Single Track Advocates, Anchorage

  • Alaska Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

  • Roadmap to a Vital and Safe Anchorage

© BLM Craig McCaa

Updated June 28, 2022