Chena River Recreation Site Reopening

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:59 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Chena River State Recreation Site, located off of Geraghty Avenue, has been closed to the public since 2020. Since closing, the site has seen numerous trespassers set up illegal camps and live at the site.

“The ongoing illegal activity at the Chena River State Recreation site as created a nuisance to neighbors, as well as law enforcement officers that have had to address crime in the area,” said Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly.

Starting today, Monday, August 1, local law enforcement will be evicting trespassers who have been living on the premises. They will have until the end of the day to remove their possessions and be gone.

Clean up work starts tomorrow, Tuesday, August 2, thanks to the Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Fire Protection and Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, in partnership with the City of Fairbanks.

The 23.8 acre recreation area will see both state and local agencies working together, each tackling specific tasks in the cleanup effort, in hopes of reopening the recreation site up to the public this season.

The Division of Forestry will be clearing brush, cutting tree limbs, and other plant matter from the site to make sure the area looks good, is safe, and is ready for camping activities. The site will be inspected once the fire risk reduction is complete.

Norm McDonald, from the Division of Forestry has more details on the operations.

“We’re looking at two to three weeks, just for the brushing and clearing and limbing that we’ll be responsible for. There may be some longer work for the trash cleanup and other parts, but for the Division of Forestry and Fire Protection, we are hoping to be two to three weeks and get that looking pretty good in there. But, I know they’d really like to get that open, late summer, early fall if possible so that’s why we’re going to try help them out and be able to accomplish that.”

Additional support for the cleanup includes the Fairbanks Police Department, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

More information will be available to the public once the cleanup is completed and ready to reopen.

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