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Improvements at Ward Lake Planned


June 29, 2004

Ketchikan, Alaska - A new shelter and trail signs are coming to Ward Lake, courtesy of the Ketchikan Resource Advisory Committee and the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District.

The Ketchikan Resource Advisory Committee, or RAC, chartered under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, includes 15 Ketchikan residents representing diverse community interests and experiences. The RAC recommends projects on the Tongass National Forest for funding distributed through the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. In its first year of operation, the Ketchikan RAC has approved two projects for the Ward Lake Recreation Area.

The first project, to be contracted this summer and constructed in the winter, is the replacement of the older (western) shelter at Ward Lake. The existing shelter lacks a fireplace, and the overall structure is in a state of disrepair. The new shelter will be built along the lines of the Rotary shelter, and would be available for advanced reservation.

The RAC also has approved funds for replacement of the interpretive signs along the Ward Lake Trail. These signs are an enjoyable part of the hike for residents and visitors, but they're getting old, and in many cases the feature (tree, shrub) interpreted by the sign is no longer there. This project will be funded in 2005 and in place the following year.

"I'm very excited by the work of the Resource Advisory Committee," said Ketchikan-Misty Fiords District Ranger Jerry Ingersoll. "These folks volunteer their time to help plan for improvements on the Tongass National Forest. Through their work, the whole community will enjoy better facilities at Ward Lake."

The RAC also is looking for new ideas and new members. Possible projects may include:

  • Road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration;
  • Soil productivity improvement;
  • Improvements in forest ecosystem health;
  • Watershed restoration and maintenance;
  • Restoration, maintenance, and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat;
  • Control of noxious and exotic weeds; and
  • Reestablishment of native species.

People can get project proposal forms and membership applications from the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District office at 3031 Tongass Avenue. The committee will consider proposals at its next meeting, which is set for 8 a.m. July 22 at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. Meetings are open to the public.


Source of News:

United States Forest Service - Tongass National Forest
Web Site



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