Amended (5-14-2010) Project Description:
Construct a fence to direct wheeled vehicles away from fragile grasslands on the Cohoe side (west side) of the Kasilof River mouth. The fence will consist of posts buried to a depth of about 41/2 feet. The posts will support two runs of 3/8 inch galvanized chain. The lower chain will be about 24 inches high and the upper chain about 40 inches high.
Rocks with average diameters of between 3 and 6 feet will be used as available, and probably mostly at the Cohoe Road end of the fence. Concrete posts, and schedule 80 or greater steel pipe posts are also being considered. Concrete posts are environmentally friendly and can be cast with a “foot” to make them difficult to steal. They are also too heavy for most people to carry. Steel pipe may be driven in and thus is fast to install and installation don’t disturb vegetation.
The fence will begin on the east side of the Cohoe Road right of way. An existing guard rail will be the point of beginning. A gate for emergency use is planned for this point. The fence will run about 25 feet back from the Mean High Water of Cook Inlet, on the edge of the grass covered uplands. This is the line above the most extreme high tides and thus marked by vegetation. The fence will be on Department of Natural Resources property (known as Kenai Peninsula Borough parcel 13302226) other wise described as Government Lots 1 through 3 and 5 through 7 of Section 2, Township 3 North, Range 12 West of the Seward Meridian (containing 225.35 acres plus or minus); and on Department of Natural Resources property known as Kenai Peninsula Borough parcel 13110003 and further described as Government Lot 1 of Section 35, Township 4 North, Range 12 West, Seward Meridian (containing 18.07 acres plus or minus).
As the fence follows about 25 feet back from mean high water and runs easterly (toward the Kasilof River) it will reach a point 25 feet back from the Kasilof River mean high water. From there the fence will continue bending to the north as it follows this setback from mean high water, upriver. Upon reaching a prominent slough the fence will end. At the end of the fence will be 2 posts set about 4 feet apart and cross braced together to give stability to the chain and prevent the end post from leaning toward the other posts. Estimated length of the fence is about 5,500 feet.
The logic of putting the fence about 25 feet back from the mean high water and on the edge of the grass is to avoid storm waves, logs and ice, which could damage the fence. This location will also maximize the area usable to the public.
Construction equipment includes a Case 580 four wheel drive backhoe loader, a Case 480 four wheel drive backhoe loader, a Bobcat with an auger, a Kobelco LK 600 3 yard bucket loader with quick connect boom and forks, a Drott 40 Cruz-air 4 wheel drive excavator, and Drott 50 track excavator. The larger equipment would only be used for moving rocks or lifting things. It is unlikely that either Drott will be used. Numerous 3/4 ton and 1 ton 4 wheel drive pick ups will also be used. A 6 wheel drive dump truck is available. A White Wester Star semi tractor with a tilt top lowboy will be used to deliver and pick up equipment. A Lister 8 KW generator and a Lincoln wirefeed welder and a stick welder will be used.
No equipment or fuel will be stored on site. Fence posts, chain, and equipment will only be staged on-site during daytime hours.
The object of the fence is to direct wheeled traffic onto the beach and away from grass. Cohoe and Kasilof area residents, as well as several biologists, and the following organizations: Cook Inletkeeper, Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition, Kenai Peninsula Fisherman’s Association, Kenai River Professional Guides Association, Kenai/ Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee, Kenai Watershed Forum are concerned denuding of the grassland will cause erosion, which will result in significant loss of Department of Natural Resources property, loss of habitat for certain migratory birds, and loss of important wetlands behind the grassland. These wetlands are connected to the Kasilof River and are important for salmon as well as waterfowl.
Maintenance, bonding and fees will be provided by Kasilof Regional Historical Association until such a time that another Cohoe-Kasilof Community group forms to oversee the fence and grasslands.
Construction of a temporary fence lane is planned across the grassland for the summer of 2010. The object of this fence is to hold vehicles to a single trail across the grasslands. It will be installed by Dillon Holloway and Melissa Hampton, Nikiski High School students and volunteers working with them. They will remove the fence after the 2010 dipnet season.
Brenda Crim and a large group of Baptist missionaries provided general help keeping the temporary fence in repair at Kenai in 2009. They plan to offer the same service at the Kasilof River dunes in 2010.