Fairbanks, AK

March 27, 2019

Outdoor Recreation: Opportunities for growth

Easy access to trails close to other activities user group take part of

Skyline Ridge Trail – more signage would help!

Central “hub” of up-to-date trail info

Awareness from Borough locally helps – Trail Challenge

Year-round success in marketing to multiple user-groups/sightseeing vs recreational

*Explore Fairbanks – people go to look for information

Example: Iceland – Awareness building for incoming tourists

Curtail focus in outdoor rec. to students coming to Alaska/Fairbanks


Educating and Programs to give people information for outdoor activities

Family campsites


Tourism, Fairbanks as whole.  Complements to users – New Current – what info is available?

Self-selection/experience issue to newcomers


*Easements/trespassing (for the interior)

Resources to provide interpretive signs and info

Local use vs Tourism use

*Safety (“jellybean”/hand-held trip for new comers (winter users)) aspect for tourism industry to ALASKA

*Land use, Zoning

Military Families come/go, don’t show respect for land

10 years from now: What would be different in Fairbanks in Outdoor Rec?

  • Snow

  • Recreation will change from Climate Change

  • Locally big issue for winter use (Climate Change)

  • 1 to 2 long trails in Fairbanks could be huge benefitting change.  Symbiotic relationship on trails between different users.

  • Trail maintenance: summer and winter

  • Funding?? (AK snow travelers) How do we find it for sustainable trail building and maintenance?

  • Community passion for up keeping tails over-regulation runs it down from liability

    Unity of User Groups on trails

  • No huge issues

  • Level conflicts – land owners vs. user groups and Gov. as well.

  • UAF, Land Trust (mental health), Private landowners

10 year Question:

  • Denali opening up more from demand

  • Summer and winter user groups flying more north to attractions

  • Local: better connected non-motorized network Northside Chena,  surrounding trails could be easily interchangeable and accessible

  • Summer tourism = flatlined

  • Winter tourism = exploded: How do we continue for marketing?

  • Borough needs expanded support for importance of trails challenge and mind set for health benefits from outdoor recreating.


  1. Advocate for NEW UAF degree “BSRB”

  2. Product/Cultural Development

  3. Advertising!!!

BREAKOUT GROUP: Connectivity Trails

$$$ Buy right of way, easements – tax relief


  1. Defining Acceptability

  2. a) Consistency – rules for trails, roads, paths, etc.

b) Investing (Cross-stakeholder involvement

  1. Finding mini-champions


  1. Build, Build, Build

  2. a) more Paid ______ To

b) get $$$$

  1. Update, upgrade, [maintain utility] a.k.a. upkeep



Tourism Industry > Tax, Grants, Donations

Corporate Support > Donations, Foundations

Native Corporations > Land Permits, Construction


Tax, license/fees

Click, Pick, Give

BLM/Park Service expansion of draw to spend



Gaming > Banquets, raffles

Membership fees

Individual > donations, endowments

Crowd source funding


  1. Raising awareness of outdoor recreation opportunities and user groups

  2. Educating appropriate trail use and care

  3. $25k in trail projects completed to improve access

  4. Promotion of maintenance projects and strengthen community awareness

INDIVIDUAL Priorities (3 cards)

  • A trail’s map of trails in Fairbanks area

  • Initiate more landowner coordination, especially public lands for connectivity

  • Identify trails/areas where it is appropriate and desirable to promote tourism and trails/areas to (???) from promoting.

  • Expand and connect rail network

  • Top priorities to move forward, work on trails and biking path maintenance

  • Better public database of legal trails

  • Agency cooperation to establish trail connectivity

  • Keep what we have, i.e. don’t let development take trails and outdoors away. Need easements

  • Keep trails and places not too developed – we like our wild areas!  Bust designated/marked trails too.

  • Conservation for recreation

  • Trail maintenance

  • Marking trails and communicating rules/land ownership

  • Connectivity

  • Shared responsibilities for trails

  • Trail access from rural locale connecting entire city

  • “Routes to Rec” (non-motorized and connectivity

  • Accessibility in terms of land use, permitting, and awareness of recreational interests

  • Easier access to public lands

  • Less damage to summer trails thru better education about proper use

  • FNSB/BLM increase in trails

  • Multi-use option for loop (connected trails)

  • Trail connectivity

  • Funding: grants, investments, fundraising

  • Trail loops with more cabins

  • Education: visitors, business, and locals

  • Public – Investment in recreational and business opportunities for the future – snow/winter activities

  • A common calendar of outdoor events

  • Symbiotic relationships between different user groups

  • Improve/Establish Fairbanks as the place locals invest in Alaska outdoor and recreational opportunities

  • Growth of Rec. opportunity for visitors

  • Network locally and globally about O.D. in interior Alaska

  • Fairbanks is a welcoming, vibrant community for outdoorsy visitors

  • Accessibility: marketing, maps, guides, signage, parking, communication

  • Acknowledgement by the industry of the effects of Climate Change to the landscape in which we recreate.  

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (women, people of color, indigenous, groups, people w/disabilities

  • Trails illustrated (brand name) Maps of Interior Alaska Public Land

  • Advocacy: protection, development, maintenance

  • Organized group (friends group) that helps maintain trails and has funding to do it

  • Protection for non-motorized trails

  • Increase community awareness and support

  • Increase support for agencies trying to help preserve and maintain trails and wildlife

  • More meetings like this (online forum/fb to have constant discussion?)

  • Develop more summer tourism outdoor activities

  • More bike friendly from residents houses

  • Democratic President?

  • Public access to rental equipment like dog sleds, skijor equipment, water sports equipment and camping gear.

  • A greater cultural appreciation for outdoor activities

  • Increased sidewalks for bikes in town, East district by Walmart needs it

  • More bike repair shops that make sell bikes

  • More communication between land managers and university case-studies/scientists regarding users desires and needs

  • Long-term investment in students (who come & stay in comm) through UAF

  • More ice fishing opportunities

  • More public access to free winter activities, classes on local sports and equipment use for non-locals and tourists

  • Better accommodate writer tourism activities (i.e. Aurora viewing, dog mushing)

  • Increase tourism activities

  • Quality control of winter tourism business as to not ruin it for locals

  • Cold winters and longer

  • Close-in and far-out fun places

  • Outdoor education awareness

  • Educating tourists in terms of land ethics and respecting the land, animal, and community members

  • Sustainable OK growth. Don’t end up over using, e.g. Isle of Skye – have a plan