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Contact: Emily Buhr, 907-683-6242
The National Park Service is exploring ways to provide and support additional recreational use in the Kantishna and Wonder Lake areas of Denali National Park. A range of proposals covering infrastructure, management, visitor experience, guided services, and visitor capacity are described in the Kantishna and Wonder Lake Area Plan: Range of Proposals for Public Feedback.
Members of the public shared thoughts and comments about the Wonder Lake and Kantishna areas at outreach events earlier this month. Park Planner Emily Buhr stated “…both meetings were rich with discussion and debate. There was a lot of experience in those rooms, a lot of love for this park, and a lot of ideas on how the Kantishna and Wonder Lake areas should be managed. This is exciting as a planner because I honestly don’t know what the result of this effort will be. The public’s feedback is so key at this point.”
Regarding the extension Buhr offered, “We received requests to extend the commenting period beyond the September 17 deadline and believe the new deadline of October 31 meets these requests without extending the project unreasonably. The extra weeks should benefit everyone as they allow time to thoroughly consider the proposals and offer feedback beyond the rush of the busy season.”
In providing feedback on the plan, it is important to remember that offering comments that specifically raise, debate, or question a point of fact or analysis drives the park to action more than comments that merely agree or disagree with an action.
Park staff believe the following points can assist the public in crafting effective input. These points can also be found on the Planning, Environment & Public Comment (PEPC) page for the plan:
- Are the park’s assumptions and facts correct? Details about why or why not are helpful.
- Are there areas of analysis not mentioned that need to be considered in a future compliance document?
- Is there a concept/alternative that hasn't been proposed that should be considered?
- Be specific in your reasons on why the park should or should not continue an analysis of proposals.
- Have you had any negative experiences walking on the park road or on an informal trail that you can share?
- What is your stance on classifying heavily used, informal trails in Kantishna as formal, class 2 trails until the plan is complete?
Comments will be accepted through October 31 and may be submitted online through PEPC, or mailed to the following address:
Denali Park Planning
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755
In combination with the public feedback, park staff intend to complete an operating cost analysis, visitor capacity study, cultural and wetland studies, and transportation model to shape alternatives for a future compliance document.
Read more about the Kantishna and Wonder Lake Area Plan, or contact Emily Buhr, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at 907-683-6242.
Read more about visiting Wonder Lake and Kantishna, or call the park’s information line at 907-683-9532. Those interested in overnighting in the area can reserve space at Wonder Lake Campground or plan a stay in the backcountry (in Units 15, 36, 41, 42, or 43). No food or beverage services exist along the park road, so visitors should supply their own.
Last updated: August 28, 2019