Trout Unlimited Alaska On Road Project’s Effect On Denali National Park

Here’s more from Trout Unlimited Alaska on how one fishing guide is concerned about a proposed road that could affect Susitna River drainage:

The headwaters of the Susitna River flow out of the Alaska Range. Denali, America’s tallest peak, dominates the skyline throughout much of the valley comprised of boreal forest, open tundra, and countless fish-filled rivers and lakes. The extensive tributaries throughout the Susitna watershed support rainbow trout, Arctic grayling, Dolly Varden, all five species of Pacific salmon, and more.

Adam’s business, FishHound Expeditions, guides in several Alaskan rivers, but one of his favorite floats is along the Talachulitna River. The four to six day float cuts through the heart of the West Susitna Valley. The pickup and drop off points for this trip are both wilderness areas. Moose and bears far outnumber year-round human residents in this part of the world.  

Anglers on this trip have the opportunity to catch many species, including monster king salmon in early summer, feisty silver salmon in late summer, and gorgeous, trophy-sized rainbow trout all season long. The steep-walled canyon of the Talachulitna is rivaled only by the Black and Grand Canyons of the lower 48. This float is the trip of a lifetime for many. The chance to float through a wilderness area and catch multiple species of fish from healthy, wild populations is getting to be increasingly difficult in this world.

One of the routes under consideration for this industrial access road would cross just below the Talachulitna River. That bridge would be just one of the 156 stream crossings along the road, which would bisect thousands of acres of wetlands and fragment prized fish and wildlife habitat. Another proposed route would closely parallel the river for a significant stretch. Both would bring immediate threat to the river.

It’s a really good read and an important one.