User fees to be added to over a dozen Interior State Park facilities

Delta Historical Society member Mary Leith checks out the trail closure at Big Delta State Historical Park. (Photo by Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks)

It’s going to cost to access some Interior State Park facilities, where access was free in the past. Alaska State Parks Northern Region Superintendent Brooks Ludwig said user fees are being added at 14 Fairbanks area sites.

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”Any area that has infrastructure, parking and access to restrooms, we’re gonna go ahead and start charging a five dollar day-use fee at those sites,” Ludwig said.

The sites where fees are being added include two campgrounds, three trailheads, two river access points, two boat launches and a shooting range in the Chena River State Recreation Area, as well as at the Salcha, Clearwater and Delta Recreation sites and the Big Delta State Historical Park.

”It’ll be self-registration,” Ludwig said. “We call them iron rangers. There’ll be a sign with a metal box there with envelopes you take out and tear off the receipt, put it on the dash of your vehicle, put the five dollars in, and put it back in the iron ranger.”

Ludwig said the additional user fees are projected to yield about 28 thousand dollars, a just under ten percent revenue increase for the State Parks northern region.

”Alaska is in dire need of more money, so we’re trying to do our part to be sustainable,” Ludwig said.

He notes that half of regional operating costs are covered by user fees. The new charges, which begin May 1st, come as northern region parks face proposed budget cuts specifically targeting Delta area facilities.