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Cottonwood Creek Access Road Renovations Require Weekday Closures

(WASILLA) – A popular entrance to the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge will be subject to daytime closures starting tomorrow. The Cottonwood Creek access road off Hayfield Road west of Wasilla will be closed intermittently between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. for renovations on weekdays beginning on Wednesday, June 19.  Recurrent closures are expected to affect entry to parking at the facility for the next three weeks; access will remain open on Saturdays, Sundays and all evenings.

Renovations are needed to maintain and upgrade the access road and parking lot. The parking lot will be expanded to accommodate more vehicles, and a camper host site will be added. The work is funded by a legislative Capital Improvement Project and a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration grant and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough with assistance from Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats.

The Cottonwood Creek access is one of three main entrances to the nearly 30,000-acre Palmer Hay Flats refuge. Waterfowl hunters have long used the access site to pursue ducks, geese and cranes which nest and stopover by the thousands in the refuge’s freshwater and coastal wetlands.

Cottonwood Creek’s summer-long weekend salmon fisheries draw anglers seeking sockeye and coho salmon. The fishery, which in the refuge opened on June 15, is open to sport fishing only on Saturdays and Sundays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A new bridge over Cottonwood Creek in the Palmer Hay Flats refuge was installed last week and is now open to foot traffic. For more information, contact Statewide Program Coordinator Joe Meehan at 267-2281, or joe.meehan@alaska.gov.

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