Fort Abercrombie is back in the spotlight this month. Public information meetings about the state historical park will take place this week and next.
The Kodiak District Park Ranger is Kevin Murphy who explained the first meeting which will take place this Thursday at the Bay Side Fire Station.
— (Fort Abercrombie 1 "That meeting is … of Ft Abercrombie.")
The preservation plan will help the state division of history and archeology make decisions about historic resources within the park. All development plans at the park have to be consistent with the recommendations in that plan.
Development plans at Fort Abercrombie include much debated changes to the Miller Point campground. Miller Point is the location of the increasingly popular Kodiak Military History Museum. The Alaska Division of State Parks has received funding through the cruise ship head-tax fund to address congestion and safety issues that occur there during the summer visitor season. After two years of planning, drawings of the proposed changes to the campground were introduced to the public in December. The result was an elbow to elbow gathering at the ranger station and a backlash of opposition. That reaction sent the planning process back to step one and the architect back to the drawing board.
Early next week, new plans for Miller Point will be unveiled; this time in a location big enough to accommodate all of the interest.
— (Fort Abercrombie 2 "The design and … 16th of March.")
The proposed changes to Miller Point include the creation of additional parking spaces and an area large enough for buses to turn around; along with separate pedestrian access. Currently the buses must perform multiple-point turns with the help of a guide in order to exit the park. Opponents of the plan believe that the changes will destroy the beauty of the park and are being carried out for the sake of summer cruise ship passengers whose numbers may drop in the future.
Murphy said that the upcoming meetings are a response to the outpouring of public concern about the plans.
— (Fort Abercrombie 3 "A lot of folks…not the enemy.")
This Thursday’s meeting about the preservation plan for Fort Abercrombie will take place at the Bayside Fire Station at 7 p.m. Next Tuesday’s open house presentation about proposed changes to the Miller Point campground will take place in the Kodiak High School commons from 5 to 8 p.m.