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New regulations implemented for Hatcher Pass Management Area

(Palmer, AK) -- New regulations regarding public use of the Hatcher Pass Management Area will go into effect on Jan. 20. These regulations implement the revisions to the Hatcher Pass Management Plan adopted in 2010, and they address safety and crowding issues in an increasingly popular winter recreation area. Both the revised plan and new regulations were adopted after extensive public input.

The new regulations revise the boundaries of areas open to snowmobiles, primarily in the Government Peak, Mile 16, Gold Mint, Reed Lakes/Little Susitna, Archangel, and Marmot Mountain areas. The new regulations also prevent the discharge of firearms within a quarter-mile of roads and require campers to camp in designated areas or at least quarter-mile from roads and trails.

The proposed new regulations are available at http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/hottopics/11-AAC96-014/index.cfm. Recreationists are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new snowmobile boundaries, which are illustrated in the map found at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/hatcherpass/hatcherpassboundaries.htm.

Where practical, signage will be placed along the revised boundaries. In addition, boundary maps will be posted at major trailheads at Hatcher Pass, and are available at the Mat-Su Area State Parks Headquarters, at 7278 East Bogard Road, in Wasilla, or at the DNR Public Information Center in the Atwood Building, located at 550 West 7th Ave, in Anchorage.  

Current snowmobile opening information is posted on the Snow Reports link on the Alaska State Parks website at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks.

“We want to remind winter enthusiasts that poor snow conditions this winter have prevented the east side of Hatcher Pass from being opened to snowmobile use,” said Park Superintendent Wayne Biessel. 

“The east side remains closed to snowmobile use until the snowpack is sufficient to protect the underlying vegetation.  However, this could change rapidly with another storm since we are approaching the adequate snow depth after recent snow events,” Biessel said. 

To ask about the new regulations, contact Biessel at wayne.biessel@alaska.gov or call him at 745-8950. For information regarding the Government Peak area, contact the Mat-Su Borough at 745-9578.

Updated information about the new regulations will be posted at:  http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/hatcherpass/hatcherpassboundaries.htm

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