Matanuska Greenbelt Special Event Permit Application
January 15, 2015 (page rev Feb 13, 2015; page rev June 24, 2017)

(For those looking for emergency and safety planning maps and documents, please see files 4 and 7 in Files needed. They have 5 ***** in red next to them)

To have more consistent race permitting procedures, the agencies in the Matanuska Greenbelt began implementing an Interagency Race Permit Application procedure in 2014. Race fees will contribute toward trail maintenance throughout the system. The agencies and contacts include

Crevasse-Moraine Trails – Mat-Su Borough, Hugh Leslie, 861-7868,            
Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area – Alaska State Parks,
  Wayne Biessel, 745-8935,
Matanuska Experiment Farm -- University of Alaska Fairbanks,
Susanna Pearlstein, 746-9466,
Mat-Su College – University of Alaska Anchorage, Patrick Kelly, 786-7795,

Note: This information is current as of June 24, 2017, but could be modified again. Contact the above people for whichever trailhead your event uses for the most current information. The intent is to improve safety for these events as well as help maintain the resource.

Do you need this interagency permit application? (see above note)

If your event does not cross property boundaries, check with the administrator or designee for the trailhead where you will be starting and finishing as to which permit to use. They may have their own or have you use a modified procedure with the interagency application. While this was originally a race permit (competitive event), we're learning that some non-race events are much larger and should probably be providing much of the same information.                                                             

  1. If yes, download files and follow directions. Applications should be in by 6 months before your event to allow time for processing. If you have questions, check with contact for your start area or where you have questions. (If not sure, please contact
  2. Someone will contact you if there’s missing or inadequate information. Please supply this.


Files needed:

  1. Race Permit Application INSTRUCTIONS
  2. Race Permit Application 
  3. Race report – not needed until after race, but good to see what they want
  4. .pdf emergency planning map (11x17) – or online / interactive version *****
    1. Large size planning map 17x26in
  5. .pdf user map – or online / interactive version (our general purpose maps)
  6. May need .pdf of trailhead area where your race starts. You can also use the interactive / zoomable maps for this, and add documentation right to the map. These are both 8.5x11.
    1. Matanuska Lake Trailhead map
    2. Crevasse-Moraine Trailhead map
  7. Tables of lat/long for posts, gates, and helicopter landing zones. ***** Too bulky to put on printed maps. It is in .xls file so you can sort, rearrange columns, reformat, or whatever you feel is needed to be the most useful for you.   
    1. pdf version of lat/long for features.


 Differences in maps:

 Print vs Interactive

.pdf / print versions are at a fixed scale and fixed features. These maps use the 2011 MSB imagery.

 Online / interactive maps can be zoomed in/out, layers can be turned on/off, and some revisions can be made. Selecting a feature (such as trail, post, gate) pops up a window with more details, like lat/long. You do not have to sign up for access. The interactive maps use backgrounds provided by ESRI – terrain as well as image backgrounds are available.

If you use the interactive versions, you can add your race course (easy to add .gpx file from your gps), volunteer locations, and other features, then save it in your account on ArcGIS online. (These are free with some limitations on usage.) Make the map public. You can also just print out what you need and draw race features on it.

Maps will continue to be improved through use and as we work more with the emergency response units from Palmer and Mat-Su Borough.


Regular vs Emergency Planning maps

Regular user maps were developed to help people find their way back to cars and provide some idea of types of trails, but have since evolved with the signs to have more detail. (These are maps on

Purpose of emergency planning maps: To provide information for

(1)    Event planners / race directors to plan for reaching injured participants somewhere near their race course. (Self rescue vs calling 911, where possible)

(2)    First responders to retrieve missing or injured people. Palmer Fire and Rescue is the first response for lost/injured people in this area, but we are working with MSB units also.

(3)    Other people working on emergency responses


How do emergency planning maps differ from regular maps. These were developed with suggestions from emergency responders or trail users needing a map for emergency planning.

  1. Trail widths (approx) so responders have an idea what equipment can go where – or not. This coding also suggests where terrain / steep hills may create limitations for certain equipment under slick weather conditions. It’s a starting point for them. Some decades-old roads may be used as “single track” by users on the dirt tread but are listed as 4ft wide because the responders are allowed to drive over the edges. Users are not allowed.
  1. Gates are indicated, have an identifier, and .xls table has lat/long and contact information. We will label the gates before the first races. 
  1. General helicopter Landing Zones are indicated with identifiers. These are just places in farm fields (and CMT Stadium area) near trails where a helicopter might land for urgent evacuation. They are not pads. They are numbered north to south, but some gaps in numbering to allow for additional points. There are no landmarks in the field.
  1. Directional posts are indicated. Interactive map has post number for all of them.  Print/.pdf map has some numbers (too much info in too little space). There are almost 100 of these in the field. We are developing a larger map where all the numbers will be visible, hopefully.  Posts will have their identifier and lat/long on a small marker on the post before the races start. Numbering system:
    1. 100 - Crevasse-Moraine
    2. 200 - Greenbelt Central
    3. 300 - Matanuska Lakes SRA
    4. 400 - UAF Matanuska Experiment Farm
    5. 500 - UAA Mat-Su College
    6. 600 - Kepler Park (private)

Numbers work their way outbound from each trailhead - starting with the westernmost trails for CMT and MLSRA and working east; starting with northernmost trails and working south for the College and Farm. This assumed system expansion was heading east.


  1. Lakes are emphasized to help responders differentiate them from solid ground for access.
  2. Fields are also emphasized to see areas without trees.
  3. Pastures also delimited as these may have animals in them. – not a good place to land and reduced likelihood of someone being there.

The colors and icons may differ between the .pdf / print and interactive version


Most of these procedures are intended to help manage the resources and enhance experiences for users - both racers and non-racers.

If you have questions about general procedures, please contact Wayne Biessel <>

Contacts for individual units are listed at top of page.

If you have problems with downloads, entering data in application, or other technical issues, contact Describe issue including software (program and version - this is probably the most important), make/model of computer, operating system.