Proposed Regulation Could Close Horse Trail

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Date: August 7, 2015

 The National Park Service is seeking public comment through September 11, 2015, on a proposed regulation limiting the use of horses at the historic Dyea town site in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.


The park was established in 1976 and includes 13,191 acres. It is the only NPS area established solely to commemorate an American gold rush. The park includes the Dyea Historic Townsite, which served as the gateway to the Chilkoot Trail during the Gold Rush. At the time, about 10,000 people lived in Dyea and the area is rich in surface artifacts and other remnants from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898.  Horses were a very important and visible component of the gold rush and for years afterward.


Management of the park is partly governed by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.  Horses at the park are a form of non-motorized surface transportation for traditional activities which is subject to Section 1110(a) of the act. Under this section and implementing regulations at 43 CFR 36.11(h), such use is subject to reasonable regulations to protect the natural and other values of the park.


The NPS believes, based upon the analysis in the Dyea Area Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) and the associated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), that unregulated horse traffic in the Dyea Historic Townsite would be detrimental to the thousands of unique and irreplaceable cultural landscape features and artifacts that remain within and above the top layers of soil.


Public hearings on the horse closure regulation were held in Skagway in conjunction with the Dyea Area Plan public review during March 2014 and again during the 2015 Superintendent's Compendium public review process in February 2015.


The proposed rule calls for eliminating horse traffic from the Dyea Historic Town site except for limited and infrequent use on an established route by private, non-commercial parties pursuant to a special use permit issued by the superintendent.  The proposed closure area encompasses about 80 acres.


Comments, identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE27, will be accepted by the following methods:

•Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

•Mail or hand deliver to: National Park Service, Regional Director, Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501.  Or mail or hand-deliver to: National Park Service, Superintendent, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, P.O. Box 517, Skagway, AK 99840. Comments can be hand-delivered to the NPS office on 2nd and Broadway in Skagway.


Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above.


The Federal Register Notice with additional information on the proposed rule is available at


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: NPS Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501. Phone (907) 644-3410. Email:


For more information about Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, please visit the park’s website at or call the park’s information line at 907-983-9200 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily.

Last updated: August 7, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
P.O. Box 517

Skagway, AK 99840


(907) 983-9200

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