US Forest Service Law Enforcement and Recreation Staff would like to remind users of the Ward Lake Recreation Area that building, maintaining, or attending a fire using wood pallets, construction materials with nails or hardware attached, or treated wood of any kind is a violation of 36 CFR 261.52(a). The Ward Lake Recreation area includes all overnight (Signal Creek Campground, Last Chance Campground, and 3 C’s Group Use Site) and day use locations (Ward Lake and Grassy Point Shelters, roadside and lakeside picnic sites, and roads and trails within the recreation area). Violations of these Prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Users are encouraged to bring their own fire wood if wishing to build a fire in the Recreation Area.
The Blue Lake Expansion project conducted by the City and Borough of Sitka will increase the height of the Blue Lake dam. This construction began in November 2012. For reasons of safety, several recreation spots are now unavailable to the public because they lie within the construction and safety zone of the project. Blue Lake Road and Sawmill Creek Campground will be closed to public vehicles, bicycles and foot traffic. Also included and closed is the Beaver Lake Trail between the campground and Beaver Lake. Foot traffic is allowed on Blue Lake Road only to access the Thimbleberry – Heart Lake Trail from the Blue Lake Road end. Signing will be in place to remind users of these closures which will be in place until sometime in 2015. For updates during this time, stay tuned to the local media.
US Forest Service officials announced today that the roof/ceiling of the popular Mendenhall Glacier ice cave has collapsed near the entry. Guiding company co-owner Becky Janes of Above and Beyond Alaska notified the Forest Service at noon Friday of the collapsed entrance. Above and Beyond Alaska is one of two commercial guiding companies holding permits to escort visitors along the west side of Mendenhall Glacier.
“The ice cave remains unstable and unsafe,” said Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Director John Neary. “The collapse is a sign of structural weakness in the ice that may extend beyond the freshly broken ice.” Neary cautions people to stay away from the ice cave.
For more information, contact John Neary, visitor center director, at 907-789-6637 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Laurie Craig, lead naturalist, at 907-789-6635 or email@example.com.