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KENAI: Student Conservation AssociationYouth Crew Restores Trail
Alaska Region, August 24, 2009
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2009 SCA Crew: Back Row - Left to Right:  Crew Leader Alex Johnson, Teresa Reyes, Kurtis Stocker, Crew Leader Erika Burleigh, Joey Doyle, Ben Ale-Ebrahim
Front Row - Left to Right:  Linnea Hattery, James Schultz, Katie Racette, Jessica Johnson
FWS photo by Scott Slavik
2009 SCA Crew: Back Row - Left to Right: Crew Leader Alex Johnson, Teresa Reyes, Kurtis Stocker, Crew Leader Erika Burleigh, Joey Doyle, Ben Ale-Ebrahim Front Row - Left to Right: Linnea Hattery, James Schultz, Katie Racette, Jessica Johnson FWS photo by Scott Slavik - Photo Credit: n/a

The Skilak Look Out Trail on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KENWR) provides wildlife viewing opportunities, stunning panoramic vistas, and is arguably the most popular trail within the 47,000 acre Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area.  Much of the 2.5 mile route, however, was in poor condition and was the highest priority trail project on the Refuge due to the trail’s popularity, current safety concerns and associated resource damage. 

 

During summer 2009 under the watchful eyes of Backcountry Park Ranger Scott Slavik, a cooperative project between the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and KENWR was highly successful in rehabilitating portions of the trail which addressed resource protection concerns and now provides a safe, sustainable, and user-friendly route.

 

Eight (8) high school students and two (2) adult leaders came together from all corners of the United States to complete the project.  After 4 weeks of bending, lifting, carrying, and the relentless swinging of trail tools, the project was completed and showcased an exemplary level of pride, quality, and craftsmanship.  The project included the construction and installation of 9 check steps, 7 water bars, 2 ditches, 2 switchbacks, 500' of trail reroute and 1000' of corridor expansion.  The rerouted section of trail was constructed using the best practices of sustainable trail design which will continue to benefit large numbers of Refuge visitors wanting to experience wildland and wildlife dependent recreational opportunities.

 

The power, depth, and quality of experience as well as the unique “Alaska Refuge” experience that was gained by the students has tremendous potential to develop lifelong stewards of our public lands and to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.


Contact Info: Janet Schmidt, 907-260-2808, janet_schmidt@fws.gov



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