Mike Eberhardt, the Southeast Area Parks Superintendent, talks about the plan by the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to seek new managers for Sitka’s state parks. The state will end management of all seven of Sitka’s state parks on July 1, 2015.
The division has released a request for proposal (RFP) for private entities to assume management and maintenance of several of parks, including Castle Hill, Halibut Point Recreation area, and the Old Sitka site, including the trail section and boat launch. If no one applies, those areas will enter passive management. Bathrooms will be boarded up and trash collection will cease.
Proposals are due by Wednesday, June 24. The new manager would be able to collect any fees for daily parking, shelter reservations, and boat launches. To see the RFP, click here: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/sitkadistrfp15.pdf
The decision to close Sitka’s state parks stems from the legislature’s cut of $500,000 from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The state parks in Valdez will also close and one ranger position eliminated from the Wood-Tikchik park.
See KCAW’s previous coverage of the proposal to close Sitka’s parks and state plan.