MGT Feb 16, 2011, Meeting Summary

posted Mar 22, 2011, 1:27 AM by Dot Helm   [ updated Dec 19, 2011, 10:58 PM ]
Sorry for taking so long to get this out, but our next meeting will likely be Wed March 16, 2011, 6pm at the farm. Norm will send out formal announcement, but since I was so slow getting this summary out, we thought we'd give you a heads up.

Last meeting (Feb 16)  had two announcements and discussion of trailhead sign progress.

Trail Rondy:  Alaska Trails is holding the 2011 Biennial Trail Rondy on April 15-17, 2011, at the Alaska Job Corps Center. Details and registration information is at

Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation: This nonprofit (not part of MSB government) was formed in January with the intent to develop and maintain quality trails in the MSB. Trails are being recognized both for local use as well as part of tourism industry. We're hoping to expand the trail building and maintenance industry, which isn't well developed in MSB. While MSTAPF is separate from MSB government, legislation has been introduced to the MSB assembly to reappropriate some funds to MSTAPF for trail management and public engagement with the intent of those funds being matched with other funds and/or volunteer labor. IOW, it's a way of leveraging the minimal funds that have been available for trails in the past and to encourage trails not just as a recreation / tourism industry but as a trail-building industry. This is throughout the MSB. However, it should also provide a mechanism for trail projects (like MGT) to raise funds and expend them on specific projects. Processes need to be worked out yet.
The Public Hearing is March 15 at the Assembly Meeting. It would be great to have trail users there. I can let you know more as we get more details.

Trailhead Sign / Bulletin Board Progress
(the main part of our MGT meeting)

The trailhead sign committee folks had met in November to discuss
(1) what needed to be on the signs
(2) how to arrange it
(3) how to word it
then various drafts were shown to land managers and others for input / comments as well as us rethinking some things. We had some examples of various iterations (and there were many) that we went through at the meeting. We've tried to incorporate both ASP and MSB standards (or at least the required information) as well as things that users have seen on other trailhead signs and thought we should have them here also.

The preferred draft at this time is 45in wide x 30in high. The priority items are (1) Map, (2) Trail Etiquette, (3) Emergency contact info that are in center, top left, and top right of the sign, respectively. Then other stuff lower down. A conceptual draft is at  . Consider these building blocks with the details being worked out - lots of adjusting for the various land managers and special issues at each trailhead. When you look at the .pdf, a very rough draft comes up, then the resolution improves as the greater detail gets loaded. (I'm on slow DSL and it takes awhile - maybe a minute or more)

The center would be the large MGT map - about 27in on a side (a little larger than anything we've had printed to date) with the Trailhead Name on top. The column of text to the left would contain Etiquette, Yield / Shared Use Triangle (with icons of the various uses at the corners), and Discouraged or Prohibited Activities. The bottom might be Ski Etiquette (CMT) or Current Events (upcoming festivals or races or whatever).

Column to the right of map would start with Emergency contacts (911, AST, other), a "welcome msg" from the land manager (the image they want to project), general trail mileage in the MGT, specific mileage from this trailhead to other trailheads or key areas, and other admin info like website for maps.

The preferred trailhead sign structure at this point is what State Parks is using since (1) they would already have specs for it and (2) it's not that different from other trailhead signs that seem to work very well. For terminology, ASP calls these "bulletin boards." We're using the paper within the picture frame approach so the signs can be updated as needed, esp. as the landfill expands and changes trails at the north end.

The tentative idea is to do a mass purchase of the materials "sometime", get them assembled (volunteers or employees or partnerships or ....), and install some time this summer.  Notice the vagueness of who and timelines. We need to get cost estimates and some fund raising. (It all sounds so simple until we try to implement. ;) )

Mat Lakes SRA might need to be a little different since they need to meet some of their own standards, but also want to make people aware of the larger area. Reality is for most of the trailheads, that users use the trailheads as access to the entire area, not just that land manager's property. ASP's signs people in Anchorage are working on orientation panels also for their trailheads, which is something a little different but possibly some overlap. This is part of their maintenance program. So they're working on how all the pieces fit together.

The managers are working on their respective wording and tweaks. I won't go into those details, but we've discussed things that are not clear in some existing wording, and they're going to work on how to clarify. We're trying to standardize as many things across the properties as possible, but also recognize that each property has some of its own concerns and special issues.

Overall, we've had some good discussions about trailhead signs and trying to make them meaningful to users and meet the land managers' goals.

Kiosk signs: These might be 11in metal signs with map on 12-in faces (two 6x8 or 6x6in posts bolted together) on about a dozen key intersections throughout the MGT. I submitted a version of these to the sign folks a week or so ago, and they will try to get it out by March 14, so we'll have it to look at during our March 16 meeting. This is more of a feasibility sign to see how that aerial image background turns out on metal.

Other MSB changes: Their new Community Development Manager is in place.

Hope to see you all at the next meeting or on the trails.