The Kodiak Island Borough is trying to better manage Monashka Mountain trails.
Before they can figure out a management plan for those individual trails, they need to gather data on where they go and what’s along them.
The Parks and Recreation Committee went over that with staff at its regular meeting last week.
Borough associate planner Daniel McKenna-Foster said he and a colleague had walked the area and marked some trails out on a map, which he presented to committee members.
“We probably spent 30 minutes over here just trying to figure out… ‘cause one goes this way, some go this way, and this is actually the trail right here, but we got to here and we even marked it and we said we’re gonna turn around because the trail disappears.”
That’s the same experience some hikers go through walking nearby Termination Point if they’re new to the trails. The borough is trying to help nature lovers avoid confusion by marking the pathways and putting up signs.
McKenna-Foster shared an interactive online map with the committee which included the trails’ various features.
For example, “no go” zones that lead into alders or salmonberries, or “deer social” zones with many small trails that go nowhere. There are other labels on the map, like “bear latrine” or “mosquito summit” which includes a warning to bring a head net.
McKenna-Foster said he hoped the committee would either send someone to mark the trails or give staff a mandate to do it.
“Just so we can go out, we’ll mark the trail, and when we mark it, we have the geotrace and we can put in little stuff like this where there’s a fork in the road or it’s really steep right here.”
Staff and the committee agreed that moving forward they would focus on gathering more data.