The National Park Service Finalizes Plan for Off Road Vehicles in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

The National Park Service is out with a final plan for managing off road vehicle use on popular trails in Wrangle St. Elias national park.  The plan and environmental impact statement cover trails in the northern part of the park and preserve, along the Nabesna Road, east of Glennallen.  Park Service planner Bruce Rogers says the documents reflect settlement of a lawsuit brought by environmental groups which questioned the agencies adherence to its own rules regarding consideration of the impacts before issuing permits for recreational off road vehicle use.

Rogers says the plan calls for closure of 3 heavily damaged A.T.V. trails off the Nabesna Road.

Rogers says off road vehicles use will still be permitted by qualified federal subsistence users on trails in the park and preserve, and to access private land in holdings, rights mandated by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. He says the trails will be monitored to ensure they don’t degrade over time.  The new plan also responds to demand for non motorized trails.  Rogers says the agency is looking at developing about 75 miles of non-motorized trails off the Nabesna Road.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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