Ketchikan Rendezvous

Feb. 28, 2019

Attendees: borough planning, usfs, state parks, local longtime business owner

Big Cruise Tourism

Tour operators: housing, town center, front country

  • 24 cabins//2closed

    • State cabin @ end of road system

      • State beach + trails + campground

  • Flightseeing, bear viewing, hiking, some (something?) and hunting

    • Vast majority cruise ship

    • No commercial @ Ward Lake but at Ward Creek

  • USFS EIS/Master plan 2010 or 2012

    • Capacity based on 2008/2009

  • Lack of capacity + not enough people to do revisions

  • All state parks abutt USFS

    • 8 state parks

      • 5 marine and 3 on road system

        • Boat access under developed property

  • Totem Bright most successful

    • In total state park system

      • 4-5 positions cut, 7% proposed entire state parks 2% budget

      • Petition to add public use cabin garnered 400 signatures

        • Drive up cabins @ Settlers (#2)

        • Settlers booked 274 days 2018

  • Trend > road based cabins

    • RTP grant last year

      • Tent platform in new area, eventually cabin but when?

  • USFS trails in bad shape (scale 1 - 10 where 10 is terrible)

    • Re-establish: Misty Fjords rating  8-9

    • Naha Trail rating 6-7

    • SE boardwalks – expensive; not just gravel or natural tread

    • Most trails here advanced to insane vs Sitka beg/intermediate

  • USFS: not so much growth as erosion & degradation

    • Intense maintenance cycle

    • Used to be beaches & trails coalitions; last 5-6 years defunct

    • no organized enthusiast groups

    • can’t find a bike group – mostly road cycling

  • Demographics changed

    • Loggers – younger

    • Cruise ship passengers older & don’t stay

    • 90% jobs in timber are gone; took jobs with them

    • Cruise ships are replacement industry

    • All keyboard and no shovel

    • Cruise ships don’t stay overnight because of cost to dock

    • Planes used to be $100 to be $100 now $750/hr. so drop in air taxi service

    • No partners & collaborators

    • Carl - Hawaii tourism-only economy scary

    • Carl - About every 10-20 years econ shift: mining, logging, salmon, gold rush, what’s next?

    • Get your community back in off season esp. arts community

    • Predominantly marine based rec.

      • Rec. Master Plan:

        • Shelter Cove Road – gravel, will connect & will double road access.  Some tribal: Cape Fox/DNR/USFS

        • Possibly finish within 2 years – purpose primarily rec access.

    • All marketing and no infrastructure:  USFS closest boat access cabin 45 min, plane cabin 15-20 min.

    • “I couldn’t live here without a boat.” State Parks Guy

    • USFS: Misty Fjords like Yosemite and no one knows it’s there – something’s up

    • No surfing; too protected

    • Pulp mill closed  ‘97, one of the biggest in world, 700+ employees

    • Lots of roads but not connected; need also boat & ATV

  • State Parks

  • Docks bouys, marine based rec.

  • huge water trail system

  • day kayak trips with way points codify a water trail

  • TRIBE – Cape Fox if can make $ they’re for it

    • Subsistence culture

    • Huge role in political structure

USFS does great job and work with tourism with university, totem heritage ctr.

What has to happen to trigger Change

  • State Parks have to get citizen/coalition support; past groups aged themselves out

  • Conservation corps. doesn’t exist here

  • Carl – early to mid 90s activists and anti-logging

  • Thorne Bay on POW was Trump – lots of rec.

  • USFS abandoned logging facilities falling down around land

  • Local short-term tourism Marine Hwy would kill if labled

  • People come up on Marine Hwy fill cabins & campgrounds

  • Lots of calls for full hookups

    • Misty Fjords 2nd largest

    • Wilderness 2.2 m. acres, 1 FT ranger

    • 1 trail foreman, no crew

    • 1 cabin mgr, no crew

    • 1 bear viewing ranger

    • 1 seasonal

    • 1 permanent seasonal & 2-3 AK conserve. Seasonal temporary

  • Aaron – State Parks friends groups

    • Needs to bring younger people into org.

  • German & Swiss tourists head over other side of Misties

Ketchikan has insanely fast internet

Followup note: Connect with Patty Mackey – Visitors Board