To the editor: It costs the Alaska Dog Mushers Association $5,000 to $15,000 a season to groom and maintain just under 30 miles of “nonmotorized multi-use recreational trail” as described by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which manages the majority of the land in play that is part of Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. The department holds our general use permit, which outlines all the things we can and can’t do within the refuge. The community of Fairbanks is blessed with this refuge right in the heart of our city and the recreational opportunities it provides. ADMA has easements in place on other portions of the trail that are not within the refuge and owns the 40 acres off of Farmers Loop Road up to the power line easements.
The majority of the community is under the assumption these are public lands intended for public use and that anything goes, especially on the ADMA parking lot and Jeff Studdert Race Trail. It is my sincere hope that these trails and lands are intended for all our enjoyment and use. But, as with anything else, that comes with necessary rules and regulations. And, of course, somebody always has to pay the bill. Lately, ADMA absorbs the grooming and maintenance costs with very little outside assistants other than the volunteer board of directors and the paying club members.
As with our public streets, which are paid for by tax dollars, our trail could be that much better, safer and self-sufficient if all users paid their daily use fee ($5 per person) or yearly trail fee ($75 per person). It doesn’t matter if you’re on snowmachine, walking, running, skiing, fat biking, skijoring, bikejoring, dog mushing, trapping, hunting, etc. If you are on any portion of ADMA’s groomed trail or property, you are entering into an unwritten agreement with ADMA to pay your daily user fee, yearly trail fee or to be a member in good standing ($50) with the ADMA. We mostly operate under the honor system and this issue is hard to police, so please, Golden Heart City community, show me you care!
Ana Basee’. Thank you.