'just catching up on the latest discussion re: Cottonwood Creek......... Good progress on a new bridge - long overdue.
I'd like to humbly bring up a point about use of the refuge, since there seem to be some negative vibes coming forth about anybody other than duck hunters accessing it. There are four seasons of the year. If you only go out on the refuge in the fall to hunt, then maybe you aren't aware that lots of other folks enjoy going out in the other three seasons. Inward migration not only of ducks that stay and nest on the refuge, but swans, snow geese, cranes and other birds brings birdwatchers every spring; summer, families go out to fish, hike, take pictures just to revel in a beautiful quintessentially Alaskan place they can drive to, rather than spending big bucks they don't have, to fly in somewhere; winter, folks snowshoe, ski, skate (yes, on the frozen ponds off Cottonwood Creek) and just walk to enjoy a wilderness experience; fall is pretty much left to duck hunters much beyond Cottonwood Creek. And, let's not forget the wildlife hunters and trappers over the winter months. Anyway, all these other folks - users - not only are entitled to enjoy this piece of their public lands, but they care about its habitat first and foremost, just like duck hunters do. They're potential vocal advocates and volunteers that ADF&G - and the habitat - need. It's the reason Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats (APH) was formed to begin with. A lot of work has been done by APH to benefit users - including habitat around the access areas (somewhere just shy of $700,000K) - but as conversations on this forum have acknowledged of late, lots more needs to be done. So, it remains to be seen who will step up to the plate and work with others to preserve, protect and enhance the habitat. BTW, there's lots of ground work, behind the scenes stuff that goes on before the weekend boots-on-the-ground volunteer work happens. Tracking and holding accountable the *real* decisions makers - admin and legislature - is a big part of it. Before APH was formed, the refuge program was being starved out. That's a fact. It took citizens advocating for ADF&G and holding admin and leges accountable to bring attention and funds to the refuge program - like the toilets and that shiny new bridge we all will enjoy.
Hats off to all the positive suggestions about remedies for erosion, etc. Let's leave the negatives, i.e., yuppies, birckenstocks, birdwatchers, etc., at the beer hall. Thanks for listening, guys.