Coast Guard considering providing public access to Spruce Cape

Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2000

KODIAK (AP) -- The Coast Guard is working with the Natives of Kodiak to provide the public access to Spruce Cape.

The Coast Guard inherited the Spruce Cape property, the site of a former Loran tracking station, from the U.S. Navy when it took over Navy facilities here in 1972. For the plan to work, the Natives of Kodiak will have to grant an easement across their property at the end of Woodland Drive.

''We're still in discussion stages, the proposal is under consideration,'' said president Tony Drabek, Natives of Kodiak.

Until two years ago, the public was free to use a popular trail that wrapped around the dramatic seascape. But the Coast Guard closed the gate at the end of Spruce Cape Road in August 1998 to prevent the public from coming within 200 feet of the U.S. Navy SEALS Northern Warfare Training Center, which overlooks Spruce Cape.

Under the proposal, the public would gain access to 32 acres on the north side and tip of the peninsula through gates at the end of Woodland Drive. Only foot and bicycle traffic would be allowed. The Coast Guard plans to fence off the remainder of the cape and keep the gate at the end of Spruce Cape Road closed to the public.

''We've been pushing since last fall for this,'' said master chief Scott Williams of the Navy SEALS operation. ''The cape had been open in the past. The public wanted to come in and pick berries, walk along the shoreline and surf.''

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