SIGN ON BELOW TO ADD YOUR BUSINESS OR NAME and PLEASE CALL THE PHONE NUMBERS!
Call the Governors office: 907-269-7450 and/or 907-465-3500
February 18th UPDATE: Silvertip Station still not open...
BREAKING NEWS (12/18/2020): The Anchorage Daily News is reporting that Governor Dunleavy has asked DOT to re-open the Silvertip Station for the remainder of the 20-21 winter season. You can read the article here:https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2020/12/18/gov-dunleavy-says-state-will-reopen-key-seward-highway-maintenance-station-this-winter/
Huge thanks to all petition signers - now well over 2,000 Alaskans! - and to State Senator Peter Micciche for elevating this issue over the past two years to Governor Dunleavy. We are hopeful that conditions will improve because of this news.
We will be keeping this petition live, as we need to be ready to tell state lawmakers to embrace a permanent solution when they convene in Juneau this January. So... if you haven't signed, do so today... and if you have, stay tuned!
See our website: https://www.plowthesewardhighway.org
Dec 15th UPDATE:
Thanks to everyone who signed the letter asking the Governor to prioritize plowing the Seward Highway this winter, and parking along Turnagain Pass. It's been five weeks since we sent the letter in, (now with over 1800 signers and 173 businesses!) and we haven't gotten a response. We re-sent the letter last week, and if you haven't signed yet please do so.
It's time for YOU to remind the Governor we are waiting to hear his plan to keep Turnagain Pass safe this winter, for all users of the highway. Making a call is easy, it'll only take a minute - just say your name, where you live, and ask that the Seward Highway - including pullouts and parking lots - get increased plowing resources. Bonus points if you share your interest in the road, whether it's safe driving to your home, part of your job, or it's where you get outside.
ORIGINAL REQUEST: Hello fellow Alaskans!
We are reaching out for you to support an initiative seeking expanded funding for keeping winter access to some of our most popular winter recreation areas safe this winter. Specifically, we are asking the state to regularly plow pullouts and parking areas along the Seward Highway in the very popular Turnagain Pass corridor.
Can we count on your support?
Please join numerous individuals and businesses by signing our letter.
You can view a summary at this link if you don’t want to read the full letter below: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R32dkoRLTiQBzK803ejUS3OUBvqv-jtZBxJF1V0yUmY/edit?usp=sharing
If you have any questions, get in touch with any of us:
Nick D’Alessio (Alaska Guide Collective Co-Owner) - email@example.com
Lee Hart (Alaska Outdoor Alliance Executive Director) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Moderow (Alaska Avalanche School Board Member) - email@example.com
Nick Olzenak (Alaska Mining & Diving General Manager) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your consideration and please share this link with other concerned citizens! We need to let our state know that a large number of individuals and businesses are concerned about this public safety hazard, our public land access and our economy.
Let it snow... yet let the road and parking lots also get plowed!
- Nick, Nick, Lee, and Andy
Dear Governor Dunleavy,
We are a collective of businesses, trade-groups, nonprofits and communities - along with individual signers - who are greatly concerned about the safety of Southcentral Alaska residents this winter. The additional budget cut to the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities this year - on top of the huge budget cuts from last year - will result in a calamity of safety and access concerns along a highway that is the main connector of Southcentral Alaska. To avoid these issues, we ask that you increase plowing through Turnagain Pass, including the timely clearing of pull outs, in the winter to come. Additionally, we ask that you work with the legislature for long term solutions to this problem, and include a request for increased funding for this purpose in your Fiscal Year 2022 proposed budget.
Last year we observed dangerous situations that were directly related to the lack of plowing and two times the highway was completely shut down. The year ahead, unfortunately, will include additional challenges. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more outdoor enthusiasts use this sole transportation network to access a limited amount of safe terrain in Alaska’s Southcentral backcountry. Our community expects a projected additional increase in outdoor users this winter, building on years of increased use in people using their public lands. For some businesses and trade groups on this letter, this accessible backcountry provides us with income and a way of life. These public areas grant our clients the experiences of a lifetime. As Alaskans, places like Turnagain Pass are part of why we call Alaska home. As we experience a challenging pandemic year - socially and economically - we need to know accessing public lands is something we can count on.
The pandemic will also impact parking on Turnagain Pass in the year ahead, as social distancing recommendations urge non-household members to drive separate vehicles to places like trailheads. As a result, Turnagain Pass will likely be burdened with up to three times the number of cars and trucks with trailers trying to park. While any year has the possibility of being a big snow year, a forecasted La Nina has the potential to bring a big winter. Couple that with additional budget cuts, and we are greatly concerned about the viability of our industries and the safety of Alaskans in the months ahead on this section of road. We ask that you take action today to ensure safe passage on Alaska’s highways.
To be clear, this is not just about backcountry skiers, snowmachiners and all other winter recreationalists. This is about everybody - We are concerned about our truckers transporting oil and goods/services to our communities; medical responders moving patients from the Kenai Peninsula to Anchorage; and, commercial ventures that rely on the highway. Many local businesses rely on the plowing of the Seward Highway and parking lots in order to conduct business. These are small businesses with Alaskans working hard to operate them. Imagine not being able to park at your office.
This goes way beyond the safety of people. This is also about our economy! Winter recreation in Alaska is part of the $887 Billion dollar outdoor recreation industry nationwide, and 4.2% of Alaska’s GDP, making us the 7th largest outdoor recreation economy in the country. Many signers on this letter rely on selling gear, services, or other goods to Alaskans as they make their way to and from Turnagain Pass. If access is reduced this winter, there will be economic impacts to these small businesses.
We recommend a solution that ensures highway safety and protects the ability of businesses’ operations to continue through the pandemic. Our recommendation includes increased plowing through Turnagain Pass, including the clearing of pull outs. This proactive recommendation builds upon lessons learned from Spring 2020 and fosters a safe approach and continuous business operations for communities directly connected to this highway and its backcountry access. To fund this proactive solution, we recommend looking into CARES Act funding and other emergency funds to pay salaries and fuel machinery. Safe accessibility translates into business. As we navigate the pandemic, as users and advocates, we commit to solving this safe access issue for the long term. This problem is exacerbated during the pandemic; but really, it is not going away as Alaskans and guests recreate in our world-class backcountry and communities along this infrastructure thrive year-round.
Thanks for considering this letter. Us users and advocates are looking forward to working with you on this proactive solution this fall, in time for Winter 2020-2021.
Nick D’Alessio, AMGA Ski Guide
Alaska Guide Collective LLC and Remarkable Adventures LLC
Lee Hart, Executive Director
Alaska Outdoor Alliance
Andy Moderow, Board Member
Alaska Avalanche School
Nick Olzenak, General Manager
Alaska Mining & Diving Supply
(This letter will also be shared with Alaska Lawmakers, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, the Chugach National Forest, and any interested media outlets.)