MGT Mar 20, 2013, Meeting Summary

posted Mar 26, 2013, 9:14 PM by Dot Helm   [ updated Mar 26, 2013, 9:31 PM ]
We had some new faces at our last meeting and discussed a number of items. Because some things are still in flux, consider the modifiers "tentatively", "probably", etc, even if I don't explicitly state it that way.

Next meeting is Thursday, April 11, 2013, 5:30pm at the Matanuska Experiment Farm.

1. Landfill. Scott Barr is the new Central Landfill Manager (on board almost one month), and he discussed several items.
a. They're working on a mechanism to halt the trash exodus from the landfill through the local wind tunnel. Tentatively MEA may supply some posts (seconds) and expertise to design an airfoil to capture trash before it escapes. Thank you!

b. The upper part of the Landfill Loop will be closed this summer because it's too close to the landfill operations and is dangerous. It's a safety issue. That may be the only direct impact on trails this summer.

c. At some point, they may need to secure the active and future landfill operation for safety. It's a requirement. This could mean a fence around their entire footprint - both present and future. They're considering other options, but moving fencing every x years would be expensive. They do recognize the value of the trails to many, but at the same time they need to have a safe operation. The trails are on Landfill land.

d. Cell closures. Many of us had a misunderstanding of the way the landfill closes cells. We were under the impression (mistakenly) that they closed and could be reused for things like trails after a period of time (maybe 20 yrs). In reality, it stacks up like slope layers on a hill (sometimes called Mt. Trashmore) and would not be usable for long time. Even when usable, there's limited things that can be done. The pile is already about as tall as it will be, so no worry about a massive mountain. Because they use a liner, they may not be able to have post-landfill uses that have pointy things (like tree roots or posts) that might penetrate the liner. Uses needing flat surfaces wouldn't be suitable because of differential settling.

e. Some soil conditions in the "Swamp Loop" may cause some rethinking of their future operations in that area.

Remember, all the Crevasse-Moraine trails are on Landfill property, and we've had temporary use of the unused land for about 25 yr now, for which we've been grateful. When we talk about "landfill expansion," we're talking about the expansion of the active operations into parts of their property - NOT beyond. The Landfill people are trying to work with us since they do recognize how much people love the trails in the area, and we're trying to work with them to help educate trail users.

Remember to reuse, recycle, compost, whatever to reduce input to the landfill.

2. Crevasse-Moraine Master Plan. There's *almost* a version for public comment. After it comes out, you have 30 days to comment. Your input is important - both pro and con for the various pieces. They haven't given me a link yet, but I expect it to be here
We did have a draft at the meeting. It outlines 4 proposed types of trails as well as corridors where they would be.

3. New CMT trailhead should occur sometime this summer. The excavator near the trailhead was located there by the contractor before weight limits go into effect on roads.

4. New trail in Greenbelt Central near Bearberry Bluff. Mark Gronewald (MSB) was very successful in his proposal for funds for more single-track trail in Greenbelt Central. "The following Recreational Trails Program projects have been tentatively approved by the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board and the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, and are subject to final approval from the Federal Highways Administration."
Note that the MSB region did quite well in obtaining approvals - and hopefully funds:

5. Trail changes to expect this summer are roughly shown here with dashed lines showing trail closures and dotted lines showing new construction:
(Table of Contents is at left, middle icon. When in TOC, mouse over one of the 2013 items, click on arrow at the right, then click on "zoom to" to center the change in window)

a. New CMT trailhead construction above where the existing one is. Expect some new trail(s) to come down the hillside and connect to the east. (not sure when or where)
b. Closure of the upper part of Landfill Loop and possible revegetation of part of that (see #1b - safety reasons).
c. Some new single track trails in the Greenbelt Central area, connecting with Bearberry Bluff trail - assuming the grant is funded. (see #4) 
d. Continued work on Long Lake Loop reroute, but shouldn't affect any traffic. (not sure if expecting completion this summer or not)  (see #6)

6. Alaska State Parks is organizing a trail work day on National Trails Day, June 1. This will be to continue the reroute of the east end of Long Lake Loop to bypass the steep hill. Looks like event will be staged from Matanuska Lake. Details are here:

7. Alaska Agriculture Appreciation Day at the Matanuska Experiment Farm, Thursday, August 8, noon to 6pm. This is its 4th year and has been growing each year, having almost 2000 people last year. It's been morphing into an event with more educational vendors, both traditional agriculture and natural resources. If any of your agencies or trail groups would like to have a table or make a presentation, please let us know. They have forms to fill out so they know how many vendors / displays / presentations to expect.

8. New MSB imagery. We showed some of the new imagery and LIDAR products with our trails overlaid on them. We're playing around with various products to see what works for various applications. (I'm still on the learning curve for that stuff.)

9. Facebook. Here's a place where you can interact with other trail users. Report trail conditions. You might check here during breakup for conditions. (Hint: Farm roads are usually among the first places to dry. South side of Long Lake in some areas are next. Or use gravel or paved trails near here or elsewhere.)
Oh, yeah, current conditions - awesome snow. Mooseberry Mesa was like a Christmas scene today, except the sun was a lot higher in the sky (pictures coming when I get a chance).