The proposed changes to the Miller Point campground at Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park were the main topic of discussion at Monday night’s meeting of the park’s citizen’s advisory board.
Unlike last month’s meeting where the ranger’s office was standing room only, on Monday night there were 10 members of the public present for the meeting. In spite of the smaller numbers and a much quieter atmosphere, the message to the citizen’s advisory board was the same as the one delivered at the meeting on December 14th. That message was that many people in Kodiak are against adding a bus turn-around and a parking lot at Miller Point.
Because of the public outcry and concern over the proposed changes, the whole project planning process will now start over. The district ranger for Kodiak’s state parks is Kevin Murphy. He explained what’s going to happen next.
–(Miller Point 1“Basically it going, … access project.”)
Murphy went on to explain why the work to date is being scrapped.
–(Miller Point 2“Basically the folks … all over again.”)
He also addressed the communication issue which has been a point of contention for those opposed to the plan.
–(Miller Point 3“We struggle with … re-opening the process.”)
At Monday night’s meeting, Murphy and the citizen’s advisory Board was presented with a petition and comments in opposition to the bus turn-around and parking lot.
Anne Oliver is the leader of a group called “Friends of Fort Abercrombie” who made the presentation.
–(Miller Point 4“I’ve compiled a …at Miller Point.”)
The advisory board accepted the petition and comments with the assurance that they will be forwarded to the project planners and that the community will be included at each step of the process.
Safety and access issues for visitors to the Kodiak Military Museum drove the proposed changes that have resulted in such strong opposition in the community. Murphy told those gathered at the ranger station that access is one of the guiding principles of the state park system and improving access to Miller Point is directed by the park management plan. He said that he’d like people to understand that state parks, unlike city or borough parks, have a large constituent base that include people from not just the community but from around the state, the country and the world. Murphy said that it’s the job of state parks to also meet the needs of those visitors.
The Miller Point access project is only one of the planned changes for the park. Murphy talked about another, possibly less controversial plan that’s in the works and that’s the development of the “Ram Site.” Those plans did not generate a response from those in attendance at the meeting. Initial plans for the Ram Site will be introduced in March.