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Kasilof pullout project moves forward

Posted: May 19, 2012 - 8:31pm

A second round of funding secured through Alaska’s capital budget will push forward development of a drift boat take-out on the Kasilof River, officials said.

The state recently secured $1.6 million for a public takeout facility to be located in the lower portions of the river to address increasing use of the drift boat-only fishery.

Currently, many boaters access the Kasilof River at the Alaska State Parks public boat launch, but there are no publicly owned exit points for the drift boaters on the lower portion of the river. The several take-out sites below the bridge are privately owned and operated.

The division previously received $2 million for the first phase of the project, which funded public feedback and property investigations. The second round of funding, coupled with the remaining funds from the first round, will likely be enough to purchase and develop one of three sites the state is considering for the pullout, said Lucy Baranko, staffer of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, which is a section of the Department of Natural Resources.

Baranko said she and others are still working off money allocated from the first budget and will soon start environmental assessments of three sites that scored highest based on public feedback.

The top three parcels are, in order, Trujillo’s Landing at river mile 3.75, the Kimbrough property at river mile 4, and the Swanson property at river mile 4.5. The Trujillo and Kimbrough properties are side-by-side.

The results of the environmental study will lead to parcel purchase negotiations which could take anywhere from three months to three years, Baranko said.

“Basically a phase one (environmental study) is a pretty preliminary look at any records for buried tanks, contaminates or environmental concerns,” Baranko said. “It is a pretty preliminary search and once we get that data back, if there is anything that’s kind of come up with a red flag, then we would go to a phase two environmental, which would do a much more thorough investigation of the property.” 

The state hopes to have environmental studies completed by the end of the summer. The site could be completed and ready for use by late 2014 if not spring 2015.

“I wouldn’t anticipate anything getting built next year,” Baranko said. She noted the project was high on the state’s priority list, but until a site can be purchased, the project will remain on hold.

Comments gathered from an October public meeting fed data to rank and score each property. Other properties considered included the Maltby, Riverside LLC, Lindle, Vasko and Harling properties.

What exactly will be included at the pullout would be determined by which site is acquired, Baranko said.

“We don’t have a full scope and I’m not entirely certain what the process is going to be to determine what that process is, but this will definitely provide a foundation for what we are looking at,” she said.

Previously gathered comments indicated the state should weigh the project’s community impacts and public and user preferences most.

Such impacts identified include possible damages to the residential development in the area, working to mitigate dust, noise and light pollution as well as managing traffic. On the public and user preference side of the project, those surveyed said they would like the drift fishing opportunity and experience maximized, to have the pullout site accessible to emergency services and located in an aesthetically pleasing location.

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akal 05/20/12 - 04:14 pm

bad news

very few people here (in Kasilof) want this. it only helps the guides. it also damages local businesses.all with public money.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 05/20/12 - 06:59 pm

You'll take it & be thankful

The state does not care what the public wants. You'll take it & be thankful for it when there is no economy or tourists or Guides from Washington or Oregon who come up here in the summer time. The coming local economic crash is all due to the economic world wide crash which a blind man could see & explain to his three deaf sons, as we all can see & hear if only we would.
It's like the early warning devices for Avalanches on the road to Anchorage, it's free $monies$ or give your soul money that some state rep worked their fingers to the bone getting while important matters went into special session & were not accomplished or desided on.
Can ya say Big Oil Tax Bill or Gas pipeline to Fairbanks?
The safe Pebble mine will be next i fear as those we elected to serve us have their own service at heart usually, not all, but almost all which is usually enough so the People become of no consiquence.
Then there is the question of why can't we get OUR Roads fixed properly & keep throwing away millions each year to repatch the patches. If i was making millions i would not do the jobs right either if ethics were not factored.
We can have a Money making lottery on exactly when OUR Roads will start to break up & exactly what part of the Cold Seems of asphalt will break up first & it's an every year thing on EVERY bit of Almost done right Roads in Alaska.
What a scam this is, but it continues year after year with Hundreds of millions, probably Billions now spent for nothing.
Wasted Billions for nothing of value seems to have become the Norm.

Isaiah 1:23

JOAT 05/20/12 - 07:02 pm

About Time

Good to hear the State is finally going through with this. Hopefully, some native from Washington state doesn't show up right after they finish building this boat launch and claim he used to pick berries there with Nana as a child. (That's how we lost the last state-built and owned boat launch, if ya'll don't remember that far back.)

I gave up on drifting the Kasilof due to the lack of pull-outs. The 2 privately owned pullouts are very poorly maintained, and just a pain to use. If they would have taken steps to maintain those pull-outs, maybe there would be more local fishermen willing to visit.

I'm not a guide (in fact, I think guides are the evil corporate equivalent of Pebble when it comes to our fisheries), and a public pull-out on Kasilof would be of great "help" to local residents such as myself. Improved State facilities in Kasilof will only attract more tourism, which would help the Kasilof businesses (both of them), not hurt them.

tburck 05/20/12 - 08:38 pm

In your back yard...

The only people in the area where the State of Alaska (guides) wants to put a boat pull-out are the land owners who are selling their lots. The other people will be living with the problems that come with it. Property values will go down and the quiet little subdivision will be lost forever. We live in an area that has land use agreements which the state wants to by-pass or just disregard. There are other areas on the Kasilof River that could be used for a pull-out that don't impact long established subdivisions. They are not very user friendly for the guides but ask the homeowners if they care. It is all about money...... Do we walk over the the landowners who built their homes and lives in quiet small subdivision or have guides and paying tourists running through your subdivision all summer long. By the way, if you think this boat pull-out will stay a drift boat-only fishery, dream about winning the lottery. These boat pull-outs are just up river from the mouth of the river. Put all the dip netters in the mix for the summer and we all know what kind of mess will be around the landings. The Kasilof River is not a drift only river. Motor can be used on the river. So let me ask you if this is something you want in your back yard....

akal 05/21/12 - 09:24 am

2 ???

anyone who thinks there are only two businesses in Kasilof knows nothing about the Kasilof, probably almost one hundred of them .also running down the local pullouts just shows a bad attitude.both are well run , the fact is the state could put this money to much better use repaveing Cohoe loop as it is falling apart. the state has brought many people down the road for dipnet , subsistence fish ,and the park but refuses to maintain the road.Joat maybe you should show some respect to the first nations people instead of slandering them .

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 05/21/12 - 09:30 am

They don't care

My point is that they, the state does not care what local residents think or want as it's a money thing. The thing is that it's not a Local Kasilof money making thing thats being pushed, but a money thing for those business's that are indorsed by the state.
I agree that the locals are & will be totally disregarded, but when the fish are fished out & the river is closed to fishing then the locals will have a nice ramp to the river that they can't fish.
I don't know what the answers are but it really does not matter as the State will do what they want as is the case in most instances which includes the waste of Millions of $$ for material things when people are over looked that are in need of help in many areas.

Isaiah 1:23

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