Home | Ketchikan | Alaska | Sports | Waterfront | Business | Education | Religion | Scene
Classifieds | Place a class ad | PDF Edition | Calendar | Discussions | Moderated Chat | Home Delivery| How to cancel


There are many ways one could feel about the warning Standard and Poor’s issued to the Alaska Legislature last week, stating that the state’s credit rating might drop if Alaska politicians can’t reach a deal on budget reforms.

Read more...
May is an extraordinary month in Ketchikan. We transform overnight from a quiet town in April to become host to thousands of visitors each day by mid-May. Local waters see commercial troll fishermen take advantage of spring fishery opportunities while the commercial net fleets begin preparing for their season. Sport anglers are readying their gear for the May 28 start of the Ketchikan CHARR Educational Fund King Salmon Derby.

Read more...
5/12/2014
Not enough dollars

No doubt about it; it's a sad state for the U.S. Forest Service's recreational programs.

It's beginning to look like Alaskans will have to recreate in the outdoors like they did 30, 40 or even 50 years ago.

The Forest Service doesn't have enough dollars to maintain a large portion of its recreational programs. Its budget is half of what it was five years ago, and it is expected to decline over the next five. It's down to about $300,000 from $600,000.

Cabins, shelters, trails and buoys are part of the reduction conversation. Rate increases at cabins are being discussed. Discussion also includes whether private enterprise might be able to take over recreation opportunities.

The agency has been sharing the state of affairs with Ketchikan and the surrounding communities, trying to get the word out.

It also has been listening to suggestions. Who knows, but an adopt-a-cabin or adopt-a campsite type program might help out. Ketchikan's service organizations and families already adopt miles of highway to keep clean. One service organization annually cleans up Rotary Beach.

The range of volunteer opportunities might be growing in order to maintain more of the recreational program on federal land.

The Forest Service hasn't made any final decisions as to how it specifically will absorb the budget cuts, but the community stands forewarned.

It's a sad situation, but it is what it is. Ketchikan just might have to recreate differently or like it did before the agency built a recreational program.