Funding for the Alaska Long Trail
In February this year, Governor Dunleavy submitted a proposal for $13.2M in trail projects for the Alaska Long Trail. Alaska Trails and its many partners are now reaching out to the Legislature, to secure support for this much needed Long Trail project funding. If you are a supporter of the Long Trail we urge you to do the same!
Long Trail projects were identified by a coalition of partners in each location along the length of the trail, as part of Alaska Trails’ statewide Trails Investment Strategy. Partners and parties consulted included: cities and boroughs; Alaska DNR (Divisions of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Forestry, Mining Land & Water); Alaska DOT; Alaska Department of Fish & Game; Chugach National Forest; Denali National Park; NPS Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program; Kenai Mountain - Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area, representatives of regional tourism marketing organizations and individual tourism businesses; non-profit regional trails organizations and individual trail users.
(Please note - this amount will cover a portion of the trail completion, not the whole length)
Two Swerves Along the Way
G.O. Bond funding switch to capital budget: The Long Trail was included in the Governor’s proposed General Obligation bond, but the G.O. Bond may not happen, in part due to the influx of federal “American Rescue Plan” funds. Alaska Trails has worked with legislators on switching the projects to the Capital Budget, tapping into ARP dollars. Thanks to Senators Bill Wielechowki's and Bert Stedman's amendment, the Senate included a modified set of Long Trail projects to the capital budget in May, 2021.
G.O. bond projects: The initial set of projects included by the Governor's office under the $13.2M were good projects, relying on previous Alaska Trails work; but they were not the right Long Trail projects. We’ve worked with our coalition to identify the right set of projects for the Trail, and that process resulted in $15.8M worth of priorities (vs. the $13.2M in the G.O. Bond). DNR is now advocating for this slightly larger package.
Current Status Summary
The Legislature is working to set operations and capital budgets, now with the benefit of over $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.
Senate has approved an amended list of Long Trail projects to be included in the capital budget, still amounting to $13.2M, under HB 69 on 5-19-21. Next step is the joint House-Senate conference, set for 6-14-21. We need to make sure the House approves the amendment as well.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Write Thank You letters to Senators, thanking them for passing the $13.2M Long Trail funding amendment to the capital budget.
Write Letters of Support to House members, urging them to keep the $13.2M amendment to the capital budget passed by the Senate.
Legislative contacts compiled by Alaska Outdoor Alliance
- Alaska Outdoor Alliance's Advocacy Tool Kit
Updated May 22, 2021
Reach out to your legislators with support for these projects!