SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Point Higgins/CGB Trail Update
By Carrie Dolwick


January 06, 2007

The grant referred to in the article "Group works to secure long-term public access to Coast Guard and South Point Higgins Beaches" By VALERIE HENDLE, to complete the trail from Point Higgins School to CGB, is no longer pending. The news that the grant is held up is a huge disappointment for the Borough, who invested financially to complete and submit the grant, and to many community members who have invested time, energy and resources into the trail and the important public recreation opportunities it gives to community members.

In November, the Borough assembly unanimously passed resolution 2012 that authorized the submittal of a grant application and 2013 that authorized the Borough manager to request an update and extension of a Revocable License for Land Use between the Mental Health Land Trust (MHLT) and the KGB to allow the trail on the MHLT land. The second half of the trail traverses MHLT property.

The Alaska State Parks grant was stalled when the MHLT would now allow the pursuit of necessary permits necessary for the grant award and placed stipulations on the Revocable License. During the process to update the license, the MHLT stated in the final grant application the that the extension of the land use license authorized in Resolution 2013, would Authorize use of the trail by the general public and will not authorize trail construction, reconstruction or maintenance until such time as rezone and subdivision of Trust land, USS 3762, also local known as Coast Guard Beach, is complete and a permanent trail location has been determined .

This statement called into question the readiness of the grant application by the grant administrator and thus led to the end of the grant possibility.

The trail from Point Higgins Elementary School to Coast Guard Beach is extremely important for the community. Teachers, members of the PTA and volunteers started planning for a trail from Point Higgins Elementary to CGB when the school was completed in 1986. Thousands of dollars of materials and services were donated by community members to complete the first half of the trail. The trail is historically and currently used by the school to access CGB for educational trips and experiences. It is part of the school s core curriculum. The trail is also used for community Toughies camp outs where youth learn outdoor survival skills.

For now the trail will go un-improved, but it will not stop the community from frequenting the beach for educational and recreational opportunities. The demise of the trail grant has no effect on the mission of Ketchikan Beaches Association to plan for formal solutions to provide long-term public access to the Coast Guard and South Point Higgins Beaches and uplands.

Carrie Dolwick
Ketchikan, AK

Received January 05, 2007 - Published January 06, 2006

About: " I serve as the coordinator of the Ketchikan Beaches Assocation (KBA) who is dedicated to the aquisition and maintenance of Ketchikan community beaches. I have a Masters of Public Administration with focus in Envriornmental Management and Energy Policy."



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